White has 26 and 12 to lead La Verne past Linfield 87-80

White has 26 and 12 to lead La Verne past Linfield 87-80

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. — Anthony White scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the La Verne men's basketball team to a 87-80 win over Linfield on Saturday at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

The Leopards (5-1) were lights out from the field, shooting 51.9 percent overall, 45.5 percent from beyond the arc and 80.8 percent from the free throw line.

Jordan Stokes added 12 points and four rebounds for La Verne. Cruz Mertens had 11 points off the bench and Hakim Arnold had 10. Connor Head finished with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists.

The Leopards started pulling away with about five minutes left in the game. Mertens sank a 3-pointer from the left corner to give La Verne a 67-62 lead with 4:36 left and after Linfield's Negasi Hart missed a three of his own, Anthony White hit one from the right wing to put the Leopards up by eight points with 3:30 to go.

However, things got a little interesting as La Verne committed back-to-back turnovers on inbounds plays after Linfield baskets. White overshot his target with a minute to go which led to a layup by Vince Romeo and Arnold threw another errant pass which turned into a pair of free throws by Kyle Maloof that cut La Verne's lead to 77-73. The Leopards did not make any more mistakes the rest of the way and hit all their free throws to seal the win.

La Verne stormed out of the gates, making 10 out of its first 13 shots including pefect 6 of 6 from downtown to grab a 26-8 lead just seven minutes into the game. But the Wildcats settled and outscored the Leopards 24-9 the rest of the first half to cut the lead to 35-32 going into the break.

Maloof led the Wildcats (4-3) with 18 points. Riley Brull chipped in 16 points. Romeo and Hart each finished with 15 points.

The Leopards return to action at home on Dec. 18 when they face another Northwest Conference foe, No. 7 Whitworth, at 2 p.m.

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