LA VERNE, Calif. — Victor Costa scored a game-high 17 points and the University of La Verne men's basketball team rallied from an early deficit to take the lead in the second half.
But the Knox College Praire Fire evened the game late and pulled away in overtime to beat the Leopards 69-65 in a non-conference matchup Friday night.
Connor Head and Cole Currie both finished in double figures. Head totaled 12 points to go with four rebounds. Currie added 10 points with two rebounds and a steal. Costa finished with a game-high three steals.
After falling behind early in the first half, the Leopards closed out the period with a 6-0 run to head into the break down 35-26.
La Verne surged early in the second half, capitalizing off Knox turnovers and scoring in transition to chip away at the Prairie Fire's lead.
Tevin McClain came up big for the Leopards with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. The freshman stripped Jonathan Damota and finished off the play with a three-pointer at the other end to put La Verne up 49-47. Costa extended the Leopards' lead on their very next possession, knocking down a three of his own to put La Verne up five.
But the Prairie Fire cut La Verne's lead to two off a jumper by Deryk Ruple and tied the game off a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Knox took the opening lead in the extra period and La Verne couldn't recover, falling 69-65.
McClain finished with seven points. Brandon Rice added six points and led the Leopards with nine rebounds.
The Prairie Fire were led by DJ Lewis' 15 points.
Season Impact: The Leopards fall to 0-7. Knox improves to 2-7.
Next Game: The Leopards return to action next Monday when they host No. 1 Whitman College. The 2 p.m. match-up is a home game for the Leopards but will be played at Pomona-Pitzer's Rain Center due to the construction of La Verne's new residence and dining hall.
Click Below for directions to Pomona-Pitzer
|Rains Center, Voelkel Gymnasium|
|220 E. Sixth Street|
|Claremont, California 91711|