Men's Basketball nearly upsets first place Occidental

Men's Basketball nearly upsets first place Occidental

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Trailing 52-50 with 16 seconds left in the game, the Unversity of La Verne men's basketball had a chance to tie the first place Occidental Tigers.

But Jamaal Willis' layup just missed and the Tigers made a pair of free throws on the other end to seal the game, beating the Leopards 54-50.

Victor Costa led the Leopards with 21 points to go with four rebounds. Connor Head finished with a double-double, his first of the season. The senior finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Leopards got out to the early lead and stayed ahead of the Tigers for most of the first half. But the game stayed close for the full 40 minutes with neither team gaining a double-digit lead.

Occidental regained the lead with 9:33 to play on a jumper by Jeevin Sandhu. La Verne kept pace with the Tigers, getting to within one point after a Cole Currie layin with just over a minute to play. 

After Occidental extended their lead to three, Head knocked down a jumper with 31 seconds remaining to make it a one-point game. But that was as close as the Leopards would get. 

Currie finished the game with eight points and four rebounds. Evan Gustafson added seven points and seven rebounds. 

Austin DeWitz led Occidental with 26 points and Zach Baines added 17 points.

Next Game: The Leopards return home to face the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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