LA VERNE, CA — Six Leopards finished in double figures and the University of La Verne women's basketball team got the 2019-20 season started in exciting fashion.
But the Leopards found themselves on the wrong end of a double-overtime thriller, falling to the Park University Gilbert Buccaneers 107-105.
Alondra Ponce led the Leopards with 15 points with three buckets from beyond the arc. The junior also added two rebounds and an assist. Rebecca Horn also made her mark from three-point range, netting four threes on her way to 14 points. Horn also grabbed three boards with one assist, one steal, and one block.
Rachel Gafford made a statement in her collegiate debut. The Big Bear Lake native nearly notched a double-double, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, three steals, one assist, and one block. The freshman scored six of her points in the fourth quarter to help force overtime.
Jasmine Xiong scored 14 points and shot 6-7 from the free-throw line. The West Hills College transfer dished a team-high five assists and added three rebounds and a steal.
Both squads had opportunities to win the game in regulation. With less than ten seconds remaining, Gafford drove down the lane but was stripped by Daniela Bernal. On the Buccaneers ensuing possession, Jasmine Kelly drew a foul and went to the line with two chances to put her squad ahead. But the Leopards caught a break with both shots missing the mark.
Jazzlyn Johnson also flirted with a double-double totaling 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal. The sophomore did her damage late, scoring six points in the second overtime period to give the Leopards a chance down the stretch.
Kendall Stanley was efficient from the floor scoring 11 points off 4-6 shooting and 3-4 from the line. The Lakewood High School product grabbed four boards, dished out a pair of assists, stole two passes, and blocked a shot.
Brittany McDaniel showed that she is still one of the top shot blockers in the division. The senior led all players with three rejects and scored eight points to go with three rebounds.
Park University was led by Daniel Bernal's 24 points and Elise Youngs 18 points.
After the Leopards took a 24-16 to end the first quarter, the Buccaneers responded in the second quarter and cut La Verne's lead to just three points at the half.
La Verne forced Park into foul trouble early but had trouble converting from the line. The Leopards made just 5-14 attempts in the first quarter before recovering and going 25-32 from the charity stripe the rest of the way.
The Leopards have a quick turnaround and will face Yellowstone Christian at home Saturday at noon.Watch Live Download the SCIAC TV App Follow ULV Athletics on Twitter Like us on Facebook Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram