The men’s basketball team earned an overtime victory defeating Cal Lutheran, 80-76, Saturday at Frantz Athletic Court.
With the game tied at 76, senior guard Ronn See hit the go-ahead free throw and scored a driving turnaround layup with 16.1 seconds left to give the Leopards a 79-76 lead in overtime.
A free throw by freshman guard Hakim Arnold sealed the victory for La Verne.
“I trust Ronn,” head coach Richard Reed said. “I trust him to make the right plays.”
See tied the game at 74 with a pair of free throws after he was fouled driving to the basket near end of regulation.
“I was looking for others and finding the open guy, to be honest,” See said.
See finished the game with 14 points and tallied 11 assists. See also scored five of the six overtime points for the Leopards as well.
It was a close back and forth game throughout. The biggest lead for either team was only eight in favor of Cal Lutheran.
“We were moving the ball well and reading their defense,” See said.
With the Kingsmen ahead 73-72, junior forward Colin Powdrill of Cal Lutheran split a pair of free throws which allowed the Leopards to tie the game with 9.7 seconds remaining in the game.
Kingsmen junior guard Arak Smith missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the end of regulation.
Smith was a bright spot offensively for Cal Lutheran, scoring a game-high of 20 points.
Junior center Niall Harrison was the leading scorer for La Verne, recording 19 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
“People found me when I was open,” Harrison said. “And as far as rebounding, that’s just what I do.”
Harrison was also one bright spot on the boards as the Leopards were outrebounded by the Kingsmen, 35-27.
“We need to work on rebounding,” Reed said. “We did do a good job of taking care of the ball tonight.”
The Leopards had seven turnovers compared to 17 for the Kingsmen.
La Verne’s bench scored 29 points in the winning effort. Freshman forward Evan Roberts scored 12 points off the bench
“We really rely on each other,” Reed said. “Our strength is our numbers.”
The men’s basketball team also traveled to Whittier on Feb. 12th, defeating the Poets, 74-64.
Sophomore guard Weston Newell led La Verne with 17 points.
See added 15 points and five rebounds to the Leopards winning effort.
With the win, the Leopards are on a four game Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win streak.
La Verne improves to 10-12 overall and 7-6 in SCIAC.
Currently, the Leopards are tied with Chapman for fourth in the conference standings.
The Leopards will travel to play at Claremont Mudd-Scripps at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Julian Mininsohn can be reached at email@example.com.