Stokes, Arnold carry La Verne past Willamette 88-87

Stokes, Arnold carry La Verne past Willamette 88-87

SALEM, Ore. — Hakim Arnold sank the go-ahead jumper with two seconds left and Jordan Stokes went off for a career-high 29 points to lead the La Verne men's basketball team to a 88-87 win over Willamette on Friday at Cone Field House.

The Leopards (4-1) were trailing 87-82 with 1:17 left to play when Arnold was fouled then hit two from the line to pull La Verne within three, 87-84. Willamette's Casey Thornton short-armed a jumper on the other end and Khaneal Mason grabbed the board and went coast-to-coast for a layup to get the Leopards within 87-86 with 46 seconds remaining.

Nico Troplent then missed a 3-pointer for Willamette (1-7) and out of a timeout in the front court, Arnold got the ball and hit the game winner.

Arnold finished with 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Arnold might have stolen the late-game spotlight but it was Stokes who kept the Leopards in the game. Stokes poured in 20 points in the second half, six of which came off crucial offensive boards.

All eight of Stokes' made field goals in the second half either tied the game or gave the lead to the Leopards. Stokes finished the game 12 of 17 from the field and collected eight rebounds to go along with his 29 points.

Kendall McClain and Anthony White each chipped in 11 points for La Verne.

A whopping 81 of the Bearcats' 87 points came from the bench. Johnny Verduin led Willamette with 20 points and Hayden Russell scored 16 points.

The Leopards wrap up their two-game Oregon trip tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. against Linfield.

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