THE COLLEGES : Numbers Game Doesn't Keep Chapman Women From Winning

Times Staff Writer

The Chapman College women's basketball team ran a full-court drill in practice two days ago.

So what's the big deal, right? Most teams do that every day.

But at Chapman, a full-court drill is major news, right up there with being ranked 20th in the latest Division II rankings.

Tuesday marked the first time since the season started that Chapman--bothered by injuries and eligibility problems--has been able to have 10 people at a single practice.

"We ran full-court drills," Coach Paul Kahn said with a laugh. "But it took a player who is redshirting and an assistant coach to give us two full teams. It was different from all the times we have practiced with five or six. We have just been working on isolated situations on the court most of the season until now."

Despite its problems, Chapman is 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. Chapman will play Cal Poly Pomona (15-3, 3-0), which is fourth-ranked in the nation, tonight at Pomona at 7:30.

"We know they are No. 4 in the nation," said Kahn, who came to Chapman last season after six seasons coaching the girls' basketball team at Costa Mesa High School. "But that should help us play harder. It is a very big game but still only one game, and that isn't going to make or break us. We have accomplished a lot so far this season, and we can't focus the whole season on one game."

Chapman was 12-15 in Kahn's first season. Kahn replaced Brian Berger, who was 113-32 in five seasons at Chapman. Berger resigned in April, 1986, and a month later took the women's coaching job at Colorado State.

Chapman already has played the top-ranked Division II team, West Texas State, which won, 95-55, in early December.

Chapman's problems started back in summer. Jackie Saunders, who was expected to play forward, had a knee operation and is out for the season.

In early October, forward Missy Abraham fell into a sliding glass door in a dorm accident and suffered deep cuts on her knees and ankles and was lost for the season.

Guard Julie King, who played in the first nine games of the season, now is academically ineligible. Forward Shereda Braggs, who was sitting out after transferring from New Mexico at the start of the season, quit Dec. 28, two days before she became eligible.

Forward Marie Fontaine suffered a hip injury and forward Kim Rieff sprained her ankle in the first few weeks, but both are playing again. Lisa Schumaker missed two games with a bad back, is still bothered by it and isn't at full strength yet.

With all the other problems, the majority of the burden has fallen on senior guards Karen Polk and Dana Dawson and junior guard Corine Sandfry. They all are playing more than 34 minutes a game.

Polk leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.1 points. Dawson is averaging 14.6 and Sandfry 10.6. Forward Jennifer Uecke leads the team in rebounding (6.4 a game) but has fouled out of 8 of the 15 games. She also leads the team with 38 blocked shots.

"Our starters are in good shape," Kahn said. "They have to be. I'm not worried about us playing all those minutes. They can handle it. . . . I've been pleased with our progress to this point. We're doing OK. I just wish we had a few more players healthy."

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