Leopards' upset falls short

Leopards' upset falls short

LA VERNE, CA — Clarissa Perez scored 19 points, Monica Garcia Silva added 12, and the University of La Verne women's basketball team got to within two points of Chapman with 1:25 left in the game. But the Panthers were able to force a late turnover and hold off the Leopards' upset bid, beating La Verne 77-68.

Season Impact

The Leopards move to 2-3 in conference play and 7-6 overall. Chapman moves into first place in the SCIAC with a 5-1 conference record and improves to 10-5 on the season. 

Stat Leaders

Along with her 19 points, Perez finished with four rebounds and four assists. Garcia Silva added nine boards two assists and a steal. Destinee Garr had her second straight double-digit rebounding performance grabbing a game-high 12 boards. She also dished a team-high five assists and added three blocks.

Brittany McDaniel led the Leopards defensively. The junior swatted away five shots in the game and caused trouble for the Panthers all night in the low post. McDaniel ranks second in the conference in both total blocks with 30 and blocks per game with 2.3. She also added seven rebounds in the game.

Bailey Kurahashi finished with nine points and Chasey Santos scored eight.

Jaryn Fajardo led Chapman with 21 points. The Panthers did damage at the charity stripe, knocking down 20 of 22 free throw attempts.

How It Happened

After closing out the first half strong to head into the break down by just six, the Leopards were able to pull the game even late in the third quarter. Perez capitalized on an isolation play, grabbing the ball at the top of the key, beating the defender to the right, and finished with a layup off the glass plus the foul. The returning First Team All-SCIAC selection finished the and-one at the line to tie the game 51-51 with 2:43 left in the period. 

The Panthers were able to knock down a couple more bucks but Garr made two free throws late to make it a two-point game heading into the fourth quarter.

With 7:23 left in the game, the Leopards went to a full-court press, suffocating the Panthers at the baseline until Garcia Silva forced a jump ball to give the Leopards the ball.

On the ensuing La Verne possession, Kurahashi came through with a huge shot, knocking down a 30 footer to give the Leopard their first lead of the half, 63-60. But that would be the last time the Leopards would hold on to the lead as Chapman forced key turnovers late. Angie Steel got the game to within two points when her layup put the score at 70-68 before the Panthers closed out the game on a 7-0 run.

Next Game

The Leopards continue their home stretch with a 7 p.m. match-up against Caltech on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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