Miller, Johnson Lead Oxy Past Chapman

Miller, Johnson Lead Oxy Past Chapman

LOS ANGELESAndrew Johnson and Jay Miller combined for 48 points — 24 each— and made big plays down the stretch as the Occidental men's basketball team knocked off its second defending SCIAC Champion of the season, beating Chapman 71-65 at Rush Gym on Wednesday.

Season Impact: Oxy improves to 9-4 on the season and moves into a tie for first place in SCIAC at 3-1 with Caltech, La Verne and Whittier.

Earlier this season, Oxy won at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in ovetime. CMS, Cal Lutheran and Chapman all tied for the regular season SCIAC championship last year at 12-4.

Johnson grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, 10 of them on the defensive end, shot 10 of 20 from the field and had three blocks.

Miller was even more efficient, going 10 of 16, including 3 of 4 shooting from deep.

Oxy showed off its best passing half of the season, assisting on nine buckets in the first half to jump out to a 43-29. The Tigers finished the game with 15 assists, with quick ball movement and solid interior passing on back door cuts. 

Chapman chipped away at the Tigers' lead in the second half, finally cutting it to one point (64-63) with 1:49 to play. On Oxy's next possession, first year Austin Dewitz made a spinning left-handed layup to move the edge back to three.

After James Taylor scored a layup to bring the lead back to one, Jay Miller countered with a fadeaway 15-footer, driving to his right. The Tigers got the ensuing stop and were able to meet passes and hold the ball as the Panthers fouled.

Spencer Levy, who hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points, sealed the game with a two free throws with Oxy in the single bonus.

From the Coach: "Our guys made plays when we needed them to down the stretch," Oxy head coach Brian Newhall said. "After a rocky start to each half we played much better defense and rebounded the ball well."

The Tigers outrebounded Chapman 41-29.

Joe Compagno played excellent defense and grabbed six rebounds in 25 minutes off of the bench for Oxy. Dewitz added eight points, four assists, five rebounds and no turnovers.

Cam Haslam, the SCIAC's leading scorer entering the game, finished with a team-high 18 points for the Panthers and Rob Nelsen added 13. 

Next Game: the Tigers are back in action on Jan. 18 against Cal Lutheran (5-6, 1-3 SCIAC) at 7:30 p.m. at Rush Gym. Oxy split its two games with the Kingsmen last season, winning on the road and losing at home. 

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