La Verne cools off in second half, falls to No. 18 Chapman

La Verne cools off in second half, falls to No. 18 Chapman

LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne men's basketball team played some of their best basketball of the season against one the nation's best teams in the first half—making shots, forcing turnovers and controlling the glass.

But No. 18 Chapman turned on its switch in the second half and surged past the Leopards for a 72-52 win at Frantz Court on Tuesday night.

La Verne drops to 5-10 overall and 1-5 in SCIAC play. Chapman remains undefeated at 15-0 and 6-0.

Going into the halftime break trailing by seven points, the Panthers completely turned the game around with a 21-2 run to open the second half. Chapman hit five of five three pointers in the stretch and held La Verne to just one field goal in its first 13 attempts of the half.

A couple of three-pointers by Johnny Peterson and Karl Reyes cut the deficit to a single digit with 8:35 to go, but the Panthers responded with 13 unanswered points punctuated by a baseline dunk from Colin Zavrsnick to effectively put the game away.

It was a tale of two halves for La Verne.

The Leopards shot nearly 50 percent from the field in the first half, took care of the ball and outrebounded the Panthers, 18-10, to grab a 36-29 lead going into the half.

La Verne also parlayed five Chapman turnovers into an efficient seven points on the other end and held the Panthers to just 1 of 8 from beyond the arc in the opening half.

But the table flipped in the second half as the Leopards shot just 20.8 percent from the field while committing 10 turnovers, which turned into 18 points for the Panthers. Meanwhile, Chapman caught fire, shooting 56.5 percent while hitting 6 of 10 three-pointers and sinking 11 of 13 free throws.

Khaneal Mason led the Leopards with 11 points. Brian Stiver had seven boards off the bench and Brett Stephan had seven points.

Zavrsnick finished with 17 points and six rebounds. Taylor Hamasaki (13), John Joyce (12) and Justin Young (11) all reached double figures for Chapman.

La Verne returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Caltech at 4 p.m.

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