LA VERNE, Calif. - Another Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game for the Cal Lutheran men's basketball team came down to the waning minutes as the Kingsmen stretched their current win-streak to six games with a 71-64 victory at La Verne tonight and took sole possession of first place in the league standings.
With the victory, CLU reached 10 SCIAC wins for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
In the final minutes of the opening half Guy Lynott helped the Violet and Gold erase a seven point deficit, with his only point of the night, as CLU took a 27-26 lead into the locker rooms.
Though La Verne struck first in the second stanza, it was the visiting Kingsmen who pulled away, building as much as a 12 point lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation and CLU would continue to control the pace throughout. La Verne cut the gap to six at 56-50, but Cal Lutheran promptly added to its tally and hung on down the stretch.
As a team, the Kingsmen shot 45.3 percent from the floor and were accurate 50 percent of the time from three-point range with Smith hitting a pair. CLU players went to the charity stripe 27 times, converting 19 free-throws on the night.
Coltrane Powdrill poured in a game-high 27 points with Arik Smith tallying 23. They each knocked down seven free-throws with Smith's coming in as many chances. Lanaki Apele handed out three assists in the win.
Defensively, Powdrill, Smith and Connor McGuire grabbed seven rebounds apiece to share the team-lead. Additionally, Powdrill had three blocks while McGuire had two and Smith added one as well. Martin Flowers was responsible for two of the three steals against the Leos.
La Verne (8-13, 4-8 SCIAC) had three players reach double figures with Hakim Arnold scoring 15. Nicholas Lewis led the entire field with 10 rebounds.
Cal Lutheran (16-4, 10-2) will be home for the final time of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 14 for a 4:00 p.m. tip-off with Whittier. Prior to the game, the senior class of four will be recognized.