Chapman Crushes Hapless Cal State Los Angeles

Times Staff Writer

For the first time in more than a month, the Chapman College men’s basketball team won consecutive games.

But it was not a major accomplishment because the Panthers were playing Cal State Los Angeles Saturday night.

Chapman’s 93-68 victory in front of 450 at the Hutton Sports Center came against an Eagle team that has won just 2 of its last 36 games.

It was also Los Angeles’ 20th consecutive loss in California Collegiate Athletic Assn. play.


“There are certain teams in this conference that you have to beat twice,” Chapman Coach Rich Prospero said.

Needless to say, the Eagles are one of those teams.

Chapman (10-8 overall, 3-2 in conference play) wasted little time showing Los Angeles who was boss.

Leading, 11-8, with 11 minutes left in the half, Chapman went on a 25-2 run to take a 36-10 lead. During one 7-minute stretch, the Panthers held the Eagles scoreless, outscoring them 18-0.

Chapman led at halftime, 44-14. Los Angeles (2-16, 0-5) made just seven field goals in the first half and shot just 27%.

And all but one of the Eagles’ field goals came on layups.

“I told the guys at halftime that this was not winning ugly,” Prospero said. “I mean, when we stopped playing, we were ahead by 35 points. Almost everything we did up until that point, we did well.”

What Chapman did best was rebound, as it held a 27-12 advantage at halftime and outrebounded the Eagles, 48-36, for the game.

Leading the way was 6-foot 4-inch bald-headed Rog Middleton and--surprise--6-0 point guard Dean Balcao, both of whom had 10 rebounds.

Middleton, who had 10 points, is the team’s leading rebounder, so his performance was par for the course. But Balcao, who also had a team-high 18 points, came into the game averaging only 2.8 rebounds per game. He had 8 in the first half.

“I think Rog is having an effect on all of us,” Prospero said. “Dean is starting to grunt like Rog when he gets a rebound. I guess next he’ll be shaving his head.”

The Panthers consistently got second- and third-shot opportunities with their offensive rebounds. Thus, Chapman scored all but 4 of its baskets in the second half on the inside.

Russ Ortega scored 14 points and Kevin Stafford 13 for the Panthers.

“I’ve already told the guys to start thinking about (Cal Poly) San Luis Obispo,” Propsero said. “This one is over.”

Almost from the start.