LA VERNE, Calif. - A battle between evenly matched Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) teams on the road tonight inside the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion at La Verne saw sole possession of second place go to the host Leopards as the Cal Lutheran men's basketball team suffered a tough 93-81 loss.
The Leopards won the tip-off and put in the first bucket of the night, leading throughout the first half. Cal Lutheran pulled within a point five different times, but trailed 40-39 at the break, despite Blake Miles going 5-for-5 for 11 points in the opening frame. Both teams struggled at the free-throw line with CLU and LV shooting 41.7 and 33.3 percent, respectively. Cal Lutheran held a slight edge from the field at 48.5 percent while La Verne was 47.4 percent in the period.
After the intermission a Miles layup at 14:17 knotted the teams for the first and only time at 58-58, but the Leopards promptly went on a 16-1 run to steal the momentum as the Kingsmen were unable to recover and earn an edge.
Offensive Highlights: Overall, Cal Lutheran shot 46.3 percent from the floor, but was only 21.7 percent from three-point range and 51.9 (14-for-27) percent from the free-throw line, which was costly. Four CLU players reached double figures, led by a game-high 24 from Wolfgang Wood. Caleb Richey, Miles and Kyle Ferreira tallied 17, 13 and 12, respectively. Richey dished out eight assists to lead all players on the evening.
Defensive Highlights: At the defensive end of the court, Wood also paced all players with a game-best 13 rebounds for a double-double. Miles pulled down eight and Austin Cole came away with six. Miles also had the only CLU block of the game and Cole had two of the five Violet and Gold steals.
The Opponent: La Verne (11-4, 5-1 SCIAC) put five players in double digits as Anthony White led the way for the Leopards with 16. Jordan Stokes and Hakim Arnold finished with nine rebounds apiece and Kendall McClain finished with seven assists.
Cal Lutheran (11-4, 4-2) returns to the Gilbert Arena on Saturday, Jan. 21 for a double header with the women's team as both welcome Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to town. The Kingsmen and conference-leading Stags tip-off in a much anticipated game at 4:00 p.m.
Box Score: LV 93, CLU 81
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