The California Lutheran University Kingsmen basketball team took on its first conference opponent of the 2019-20 season, Chapman University, losing by a final score of 86-51 on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Falling to 1-6 on the season and losing by 35 points, the Kingsmen add on to their tally of games lost by double-digit margins.
“That was a good team. We want to aspire to be that aggressive, competitive defensively. They are very, very sound. They know what they want to do and we are just not there yet,” Head Coach Russell White said.
The Kingsmen were looking to get a win after losing three straight games. Junior guard Cole Thomas was able to get the Kingsmen to apply pressure early as both teams traded scores in the first half.
As the first half progressed, the Chapman Panthers started pulling away from the Kingsmen, increasing their field goal percentage and total rebounds. At the end of the first half, the Kingsmen had shot 10-26, while the Panthers shot 15-30 from the field.
“I thought we played hard but we could of played harder. We got out rebounded by Chapman by a large margin. I think they kind of bullied us at certain points and we could of done better,” sophomore guard Charlie Lee said.
As the second half got underway, the Kingsmen made a few early shots to tighten the Panther’s lead. Senior guard Palmer Chaplin increased his aggressive play style, providing many defensive stops for the Kingsmen.
Midway through the second half, Thomas executed a driving play, adding to the Kingsmen tally, but he was called for a technical foul. As it was his second technical foul of the game, Thomas was disqualified from competing for the rest of the match. He finished with a team-high 14 points, shooting 7-12 from the field.
The Panthers were able to hold onto their lead, shooting 57% from the field.
First-year forward Lachlan Hannemann said he believes hard work, especially early on in the first half, made the difference for the Kingsmen and his overall performance.
“I thought the rebounding part was a big asset. Just starting off early in the first half, on the get go, we needed to work harder,” Hannemann said. “I just need to get better and defend better, just sitting down, getting rebounds and hustling.”
Lee finished with nine points, providing much of the offensive spark for the Kingsmen.
“I thought I shot the ball well. I defended. I had a few turnovers that I should clean up, but I mean it is a team game though. We all have to stick together,” Lee said.
After losing to University of California, Riverside on Friday, Dec. 6, the Kingsmen travel to face Whittier College on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m.