Photo courtesy of UCSC Athletics
SANTA CRUZ, CA — Five different Leopards finished in double figures and the University of La Verne men's basketball team used hot three-point shooting in the first half to down Dominican University, beating the Stars 73-69 in their final game of the UCSC Thanksgiving Classic.
Jarid Taylor had a big game off the bench tying a team-high 16 points in the win. The junior went 3-3 from beyond the arc in the first half to help the Leopards get out a big lead early. Guard Alec Vucinich notched his first double-double of the season finishing with a game-high 14 rebounds and 16 points with 11 points coming in the second half.
Taylor's first three of the game put the Leopards up by 17 with 6:20 left to play in the opening half. Vucinich and Jordan Allen each drained shots from three-point range to give La Verne a 13 point cushion at the break.
In the second, Dennis Handy got the Stars back into the game four and a half minutes into the second half after he downed a three-pointer to cut La Verne's lead to 43-38. But the Leopards responded quickly with Vucinich knocking down a three of his own on La Verne's next trip down the court. Back-to-back layups by Sinai Enoch and Evan Gustafson put La Verne back up by ten.
The Stars closed in on the Leopards' lead in the final two minutes of the game, but La Verne finished the game 6-6 at the line, including two by Vucinich with nine seconds to play to hold onto the win.
Allen finished with 15 points off 6-8 shooting. Gustafson also recorded his first double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 boards. Gustafson also dished out four assists. Enoch totaled 10 points.
The Leopards led from end to end in the win. La Verne shot 83.3 percent from the charity stripe and severely out rebound the Stars, grabbing 55 rebounds to Dominican's 23.
Jackson Smith led Dominican with 21 points.
The Leopards dropped the opener of the Thanksgiving Classic to host UC Santa Cruz, 70-57. Enoch and Gustafson each scored 13 points in the effort.
The Leopards next open up SCIAC play on Wednesday, December 5 when they host the Occidental College Tigers at 7 p.m.Follow ULV Athletics on Twitter Like us on Facebook Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram