The men’s basketball team suffered a 65-59 loss to Pomona-Pitzer Wednesday at Frantz Athletic Court.
An early second half spurt by the Sagehens gave them a comfortable lead in which they never looked back.
“They came at us and we didn’t execute,” La Verne senior forward Eric Becker said.
With the Leopards leading 32-29 to start the second half, Pomona-Pitzer started the half on a 21-9 run, giving the Sagehens a 39-36 lead.
Junior guard Kyle McAndrews led the Sagehens with a game-high 32 points, shooting 11-for-20 from the field, including 3-for-5 from three-point range.
“We let them run what they wanted, we let them do what they wanted,” junior center Niall Harrison said.
The Sagehens also had the advantage in most of the key offensive categories, including outrebounding the Leopards, 40-35.
Twelve of the Sagehens’ rebounds were on the offensive glass.
Pomona-Pitzer also shot 42.1 percent from the field while La Verne shot just 38.2 percent.
The Leopards also shot just 57.9 percent from the free throw line.
“Bottom line is they made all the plays, we didn’t,” head coach Richard Reed said.
The Leopards did win the turnover margin, 15-11.
Senior guard Ronn See and junior guard Karl Reyes added 11 points each to lead the Leopards in the losing effort.
“I don’t think much has to change,” Reed said. “We need to bounce back emotionally. We can’t hang our heads.”
With the win, the Sagehens improve to 17-7 overall on the season and 12-3 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Leopards fall to 10-14 overall in the season and 7-8 in SCIAC play.
This places La Verne in fifth place in the conference standings and on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned.
La Verne’s next game is scheduled against Chapman for 5 p.m. Saturday at Frantz Athletic Court. It is the team’s last game of the regular season, as well as senior night.
“We’ve got to really rally around our team,” Harrison said. “We got to do it for our seniors and send them out on a good note.”
Julian Mininsohn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.