March 5, 2009

Courtesy Chapman Athletics

ORANGE, Calif. - Back-to-back baskets by Linda Ly and Lauren Kamiyama in overtime gave the Chapman University women's basketball team the lead for good as it held on to defeat Occidental College 70-65 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships Wednesday night at the Hutton Sports Center.

Chapman advances to face a familiar foe, George Fox University (Ore.) in the second round of the playoffs on Saturday. The Panthers will travel to Newberg, Ore., where they were eliminated from the NCAA tournament in 2008. Chapman and George Fox (27-0) also squared off in a December rematch with the Bruins winning 82-52 en route to an undefeated regular season and No. 3 national ranking.

In defeating Occidental on Wednesday night, the Panthers improve to 6-0 in first round games against SCIAC champions. Occidental (22-6) trailed Chapman for much of the game but captured the lead 64-62 on a three-pointer by senior G Brianne Brown a few seconds into the overtime period. With the Tigers leading by one, Ly scored two of her 13 points with 1:24 remaining to give the Panthers a 66-65 lead. Kamiyama then followed with a deep three-pointer putting the game out of reach.

The Panthers had led by as many as eight points early in the second half, but Oxy kept it close the rest of the way, eventually tying the game with 1:13 left in regulation. Chapman (20-8) was held to just one field goal over the final 5:48 in the second half as the Tigers chipped away.

Kamiyama scored 13 of her game-high 24 points in the second half and overtime, including four three-pointers.

For Occidental, Brown finished with 21 points and added seven rebounds. Stephanie Babij earned a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.