ORANGE, Calif. — Hakim Arnold registered 22 points and 10 rebounds but the La Verne men's basketball team struggled from the field in a 81-68 loss to Chapman on Thursday night at Hutton Sports Center.
Chapman (6-5, 2-0 Southern California Intercollegate Athletic Conference) held the Leopards to season-lows in field goal percentage (37.3 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage (18.8). Reed Nakakihira led the Panthers with 18 points and Rob Nelson added 15 points.
Despite struggling to find their shooting stroke, the Leopards (7-4, 1-1) used offensive boards to stay within range for most of the game as they edged the Panthers 20-6 in second chance points. But after an Arnold layup brought La Verne within 64-58 with 5:48 left in the game, Chapman rattled off seven unanswered points to grab a 71-58 lead and never looked back.
La Verne briefly went with a lineup without a true point guard early in the second half and blitzed the Panthers for 11 straight points, taking a 44-41 lead at the 14:48 mark. The Leopards went 4-for-4 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line during the stretch. Nakakihira stopped the bleeding for Chapman with a three and the Panthers didn't relinquish the lead the rest of the way.
The Leopards return to action on Saturday at home against Occidental.