THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Cole Thomas recorded his first career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead Cal Lutheran men's basketball past the La Verne Leopards, 76-63, on Wednesday night in Gilbert Arena.
The points and rebounds were both a season high for Thomas, who has now scored in double-digits 14 times year, including four straight. The point total came from an impressive shooting night as Thomas was 8-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line.
Two more Kingsmen added double-digit point totals as Brooks Mallory and Palmer Chaplin scored 14 and 13, respectively. Chaplin showed off an all-around game with six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block, while Mallory hit three three-points and tallied four rebounds and two steals.
The 76 points for the Kingsmen were a season high as they shot 45.9-percent from the field and 34.8-percent from three-point land. Cal Lutheran also pulled down their most rebounds in any game this year as they totaled 43 and held La Verne to just 25.
The offense flowed throughout the game as the Kingsmen dished out 16 assists in all. Chaplin and Jarrett Powers had the team high with four each and Tomas Calvo and Logan McCullough both added three each.
With all the stats pointing towards the Kingsmen, it was actually the Leopards with a hot start. La Verne jumped out to a quick 16-7 with 14:50 left in the half as Cal Lutheran looked to weather the storm.
The Kingsmen were up to the challenge as they scored 16 straight points, in just five minutes, and took a 23-16 lead. Five different Kingsmen scored during the run as Calvo, Chaplin, Cole, Calvin Phillips and Mike Shahan all got in on the fun.
Just as Cal Lutheran had a run, La Verne had one of its own, and cut the lead to 35-34 with 2:43 left. The Kingsmen fired right back, taking a 45-38 lead at the half, as Mallory drained a three-pointer with four seconds left.
In the second half, the Leopards chipped away at the lead early on, and cut the deficit to just seven. Over the next few minutes, the Kingsmen built it back up and had a 64-46 lead with 11:24 left. CLU continued to increase its lead and had its biggest lead of the game, 74-53, with 3:18 to go. Cal Lutheran coasted the rest of the way and defeated La Verne 76-63.
The Kingsmen hit the road for their next two contests. Cal Lutheran has a big test on Saturday and travels to the top team in the SCIAC, Pomona-Pitzer, on Saturday with tipoff set for 2 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 76, ULV 63
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director