Oxy Clinches Spot in SCIAC Tournament

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Photo by photoservices.com

By Jack Brancheau

LOS ANGELES — Led by a rock-solid defensive performance, the Tigers rolled by the Chapman Panthers, 62-45, in their second SCIAC matchup at Rush Gymnasium in three days. The Oxy win clinches their first SCIAC playoff berth since 2010. 

The 2017 SCIAC high-jumping champion, Austin DeWitz, headlined the Tigers win with 21 points on 8 for 14 shooting, and 12 rebounds in all 40 minutes played. Jacob Adler, a first year from Portland, Ore., also had an impressive night, making a few big shots to extend the Tigers lead late. Adler finished with 8 points, 2 assists and hit a pair of threes when Chapman went to a zone defense late in the second half. 

Caleb Yellin-Flaherty and Jonny Crosthwaite played big minutes, contributing 13 and 9 respectively. Yellin-Flaherty went 6 for 11 from the field with five rebounds, four assists and three blocks, and Crosthwaite was 3 for 6 with five rebounds and three assists.

Ryan Kaneshiro was a monster on the boards with 14 rebounds and Baines added 8 points, 7 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Oxy appeared unfazed by their Monday night loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, as they started off the first half strong - controlling the game with crisp passing and tight defense. The Tigers finished the half up 28-19 after a emphatic two-handed dunk by Baines.

Chapman bounced back quickly in the second half behind back-to-back threes from Josh Mendoza, bringing the game back within striking distance. Again, solid defense and a team-first mentality willed the Tigers through the second half. Oxy shot a solid 40% from the field, won the rebound war 50-30, and outscored the Panthers 24-18 in the paint.

Jeevin Sandhu was just 1 for 6 from the field, but contributed three rebounds and two assists in 12 minutes off the bench for Oxy.

Season Impact: The Tigers improve to 18-7 overall and 11-3 in SCIAC play. More importantly, Wednesday's win assures an Oxy appearance in the conference tournament at no lower than the #3 seed.

Looking Ahead: Oxy heads to Pomona-Pitzer this Saturday (2/17) to take on the Sagehens at 5 PM - a win will clinch the Tigers the #2 seed in the playoffs. 

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