THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The Cal Lutheran men's basketball team had their nine-game winning streak snapped in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday night after Occidental guard Juwan Rice banked a three-pointer at the buzzer to defeat the Kingsmen 75-72 inside Gilbert Arena.
Trailing 69-62 with just 1:27 remaining in the game, the Kingsmen put together a critical run to get back in contention. With the seconds ticking away, Coltrane Powdrill elevated over two Tiger defenders for a mid-range bank shot to cut the lead to just five points with 1:12 to go.
On the next Occidental possession, Martin Flowers came up with a huge steal out past the three-point line and the Kingsmen called a timeout to set up a play. Out of the timeout, Arik Smith got fouled cutting to the basket and knocked down both free-throws to make it a one possession game, 69-66, with 41 seconds on the clock.
Looking to hold the ball and run down the clock, the Tigers turned the ball over again after Flowers came up with another critical steal. CLU got a great look from Dan Wade to tie the game but his three-pointer hit just off the back of the rim, forcing the Kingsmen to foul and send Occidental to the line.
The Tigers sank both free-throws to take a 71-66 lead but moments later, Powdrill drained a three-pointer to make it 71-69 after Smith found him open on the wing with just 17 seconds left.
After another foul from the Kingsmen to extend the game, Occidental freshman Jarred Stuedemann went to the line where he missed one free-throw to give CLU a chance to tie the game.
Wade did just that, knocking down his fifth three-pointer in the game on a fall away shot from the corner to even the score up 72-72 with five seconds left. Almost as soon as the crowd began to cheer, Occidental had the ball on the other end of the court where Rice rose up from 23-feet away and banked in the game-winner as the buzzer sounded.
The Kingsmen led by as many as nine points in the game, but Occidental turned in a strong second half performance outscoring CLU 46-36.
Powdrill had a game-high 23 points for the Kingsmen and went 10-for-15 from the field. Wade added 20 points after knocking down five three-pointers and Smith had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Occidental (7-6, 3-2 SCIAC) had four players in double-figures led by Spencer Levy with 19 points, Andrew Johnson with 18, Rice with 17 and Andrew Garrison had 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Cal Lutheran (10-3, 4-1 SCIAC) will look to get back in the win column with a tough matchup against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (10-3, 3-1 SCIAC) inside Gilbert Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Box Score: OXY 75, CLU 72
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