THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Turnover bugs bit the La Verne men's basketball team once again at Cal Lutheran and the Leopards lost 92-79 in the first round of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament on Friday night at Gilbert Arena.
Limiting turnovers was key for La Verne as it lost to the Kingsmen in the penultimate game of regular season after turning the ball over 16 times and posting a -14 differential in points off turnovers.
Hakim Arnold and Jordan Stokes did all they could, each posting a double-double, but the Leopards committed 19 turnovers tonight that turned into 26 points at the other end for the Kingsmen and couldn't make up the difference.
Arnold scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Stokes added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
La Verne finishes the season 16-10 overall and has likely played the last game of the season. Cal Lutheran will move on to play Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the championship game tomorrow at Claremont.
The Leopards trailed by five points at halftime and stayed within striking distance through the opening minutes of the second half. But about halfway through the second half, the Kingsmen went on a run of 10 unanswered points bookended by a 3-pointer and a layup by Caleb Richey to take a 75-55 lead.
The Leopards responded a with a 11-1 run of its own as Khaneal Mason hit a layup and a 3-pointer to get the game back within 10 points but just could not get out of their own way with turnovers as they committed five giveaways in the last five minutes of the game.
Anthony White chipped in with 19 points and seven rebounds and Mason finished with seven points and three boards.
Five players registered double-digit points for Cal Lutheran with Richey leading the way with 21. The point guard added six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
The Leopards graduate seven seniors who all played significant roles over the last four years but head coach Richard Reed will look to reload with 13 players returning next season.