Men's Basketball holds off Caltech, 83-72

Men's Basketball holds off Caltech, 83-72

LA VERNE, Calif. — Hakim Arnold had another double-double, Anthony White posted 18 points and nine rebounds and the University of La Verne men's basketball team defeated Caltech, 83-72, on Saturday afternoon at Sports Science and Athletic Pavilion.

La Verne improves to 5-2 in SCIAC play (7-8 overall) and remains atop the conference standings. Caltech slips to 6-10 and 4-3.

The Leopards started out hot and used a 15-2 second half burst to pull away from the Beavers.

La Verne shot 49.1 percent from the field and converted 7-of-19 from behind the arc against Caltech, who has been statistically the best defensive team in SCIAC play, giving up league-low 60 points per game and forcing its opponents to just 38.9 percent shooting coming into the game. The Leopards also forced Caltech's 6-foot-10 rim protector and the SCIAC's leading shot blocker Nasser Al-Rayes into early foul trouble and he never got into rhythm.

"Everything in conference play is easer if you make shots and we made shots," La Verne head coach Richard Reed said. "We hit shots early and I though Jordan Stokes did a nice job attacking them inside and we were able to get Al-Rayes into foul trouble early, which loosened their defense."

Caltech had clawed back from an 11-point first half deficit to get within 39-37 early in the second half. But Connor Head got the run started with a three-pointer and White chipped in seven points to give the Leopards a 54-37 lead.

La Verne stretched the lead out to as much as 22 points but Caltech made a late rally to make things interesting as the Leopards missed 10 of their final 14 free throws of the game. Brent Cahill scored eight points to lead a 16-6 Caltech run that trimmed La Verne's lead to 79-69 with 1:29 to go, but the Leopards were able to make enough stops down the stretch for the win.

Arnold finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Stokes finished with 11 points and five rebounds and Evan Gustafson had another efficient game, scoring 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Cahill led the Beavers with 15 points. Ricky Galliani had 14, Kc Emezie chipped in 12 and David LeBaron added 10.

The Leopards are back in action on Wednesday at Occidental.