Story by AUM Sports Information
MONTGOMERY, Ala. ----- With more than 50 former student-athletes and assistant coaches back to honor him as he coached his final game at Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), Larry Chapman was going to win Saturday regardless of the outcome of the game against Faulkner (Ala.).
However, the Warhawks capped the day-long honoring of Chapman with an 81-77 victory over the Eagles. With the win, AUM closed the season with a 9-18 record and a 6-12 mark in Southern States Athletic Conference play. Faulkner fell to 17-13 overall and 10-7 in league games.
LeShaun Murphy led all players with 22 points, while Spencer Jones and Brandon Howard added 15 points each. Brett Person, one of two Warhawk seniors, finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four steals. LaRel Jackson, also a senior for AUM, had two points and two assists in 19 minutes.
Tied at 4-4 with 16:43 remaining in the half, the Warhawks took the lead for good on a trey by Jones just 12 seconds later. The 3-pointer was the beginning of a 25-11 run by AUM during the next 10:46. Howard fueled the spurt with seven points, while Jones added six on a pair of 3-pointers.
Despite holding the game-high 14-point lead, the Warhawks led at the half by only six points, 38-32.
Faulkner scored the first two buckets of the second half, but Jones was again key to maintaining the lead, as he hit 3-pointers on two of AUM’s next five possessions and pushed the lead back to five points, 46-41.
After the Eagles trimmed the margin down to just two points, a 12-4 run by the Warhawks extended the lead back to 10 points, 58-48, following Jones’ fifth trey of the game with 11:45 to play.
Faulkner closed to within two points on three occasions down the stretch, but was unable to get any closer.
For the game, the Warhawks converted 48.1 percent from the field, hitting 26-of-54 shots, including six 3-pointers. AUM also hit 23-of-31 free throw attempts. Faulkner converted 50.9 percent of its shots.
Jake Mitchell led four Eagles in double figures, scoring 16 points. Stephen Strachan added 13 points and three assists.
For Chapman, his legendary career at AUM ends with a 679-450 record during his 37-year tenure. He finished the season ranked third among active NAIA coaches in four-year coaching victories, having earned 714 career wins.
Additionally, Chapman has led AUM to 11 NAIA National Tournaments and 15 20-win seasons. He guided the Warhawks to the 1987-88 NAIA National Championship Game and was selected NAIA Coach of the Year following the season. AUM finished the season with a 32-3 record.
Chapman has coached numerous all-conference performers and 17 NAIA All-Americans. Two former players have gone on to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).