Photo by Chris Mora
LOS ANGELES — The La Verne men's basketball team struggled to get going from the field and was held to a season low in points as it lost to Occidental 73-51 on Thursday night at Rush Gymnasium.
La Verne (12-7, 6-4 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), which went into the game scoring a SCIAC-high 86.6 points per game in SCIAC play, shot just 20 of 60 from the field (33.3 percent) and were limited to just one made 3-pointer on eight attempts.
Just two days after seven players cracked double digits in scoring in a 105-104 win over Pomona-Pitzer, Hakim Arnold was the only Leopard to generate consistent offense. The senior scored a team-high 20 points and 9-of-15 shooting and added five rebounds. No other Leopard reached double figures. Victor Costa had eight points off the bench and Jordan Stokes added seven.
Compounding the matters for La Verne, Oxy (11-8, 3-7) shot better than 50 percent from the field and outrebounded the Leopards 44-33. The Leopards had a tough time stopping Oxy big man Andrew Johnson, who registered a game-high 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Jay Miller scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and Zach Baines chipped in 14 point and six rebounds.
The teams matched each other point-for-point through the first 10 minutes of the game but Oxy rattled off a 21-5 run starting with a layup by Johnson at the 10:07 mark to take a 33-16 lead.
The Leopards overcame a similar deficit to defeat the Tigers in their first meeting on Jan. 7 but could not put together a big run this time around. La Verne went on a 11-2 streak to cut the lead to 51-40 with 11:09 left in the game but that was as close as it would get.
With the loss, La Verne falls into a tie for third place in the SCIAC standings with Cal Lutheran.
After three road games in a row, the Leopards return home to host Chapman on Saturday at 4 p.m.