Men’s Basketball drops nailbiter at Whittier

Men’s Basketball drops nailbiter at Whittier

WHITTIER, Calif. — Hakim Arnold scored 22 points and Anthony White had 20 but Whittier's Andrew Torres and Eric Jennings one-upped the La Verne duo, combining for 55 points to lead the Poets to a 93-91 win on Wednesday night at Graham Athletic Center.

La Verne had a chance to tie the game or take the lead after a free throw by Torres gave the Poets a 91-89 lead with 14 seconds to go, but committed a crucial turnover. Torres, who got the steal and got fouled, converted both of his free throws to make it a four possession game and seal the game.

The Leopards fell behind by nine points with 8:37 left in the game but stormed back with an 11-2 run to even the game at 74-74 as Tony Warwick made a couple of layups and White hit the tying  3-pointer. White gave the Leopards their first lead since late in the first half with another jumper with 4:56 to go but Torres stopped the bleeding for Whittier with a three on the next possession.

A pair of free throws by Warwick flipped the lead back to La Verne but Jennings and Torres made two straight layups and Whittier held on the rest of the way.

La Verne falls to 3-7 overall and 1-1 in the SCIAC. Whittier improves to 5-5 and 1-1.

Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field but Whittier held the advantage from downtown, going 13-for-22 from beyond the arc.

Arnold continued his all-around play, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out six assists to go along with 22 points.

Kendall McClain and Cruz Mertens each had 12 points and four rebounds.

Torres, who came off the bench to start the game, scored a game-high 34 points. Jennings finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Torres and Jennings accounted for all of Whittier's final 24 points.

La Verne returns to action on Saturday at home against Cal Lutheran. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.