Seniors shine as Panthers beat Black Hills State in finale
ORANGE, Calif. – Senior guards Brandon Lin and Andrew Avalos led the Chapman University men's basketball to a 70-67 win over visiting Division II Black Hills State University (S.D.) on 'Senior Night' at the Hutton Center. Lin finished with 20 points and six assists while Avalos scored a career-high 15 points in the Panthers' season finale on Thursday night.
With Chapman (18-7) leading 69-66, the Yellow Jackets had chance to tie the game with less than 5 seconds remaining when freshman G Brody Brisk was fouled on a three-point attempt, but he made just one of his three shots and Chapman preserved the victory.
It was Lin's 20th point of the night – a free throw with 1:11 left on the clock – that gave Chapman its 69-66 lead. That marked the eighth consecutive game the senior scored at least 20 points – a feat that has not been accomplished since Chapman moved to Division III in 1994.
Another senior, F Ben Ricard narrowly missed his eighth double-double of the year with nine points and nine rebounds. He did, however, eclipse the 500 rebounds milestone and finished with 505 in his career which ranks fifth in Chapman history.
The Panthers jumped out to a 10-2 lead, including seven from Avalos in the first 4 minutes. Black Hills (10-15) rallied and tied it at 11-11 with 12:40 to go in the half. From that point the teams went back and forth with four lead changes and seven ties before halftime. Lin's layup as time expired in the half gave the Panthers a two-point edge at 36-34 heading into the locker rooms. Lin finished with 17 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, including a trio of three-pointers.
Chapman maintained control the entirety of the second half, leading by as many as eight points at the 13:42 mark. Black Hills' freshman G Joey Mitchell scored nine of his team-high 17 points in the second half to help keep the Yellow Jackets close down the stretch. Brisk added 13 points, including four threes.
The Panthers finished the year on a three-game winning streak and won seven of their last eight games. Prior to the game, Chapman's four seniors: Lin, Ricard, Avalos and F Brian Pearson were honored.