Men's Basketball edged at Redlands, 76-72

Men's Basketball edged at Redlands, 76-72

REDLANDS, Calif. — Hakim Arnold and Cruz Mertens each scored 17 points for the University of La Verne men's basketball team but the Leopards struggled to contain Redlands' top players in a 76-72 loss at Currier Gymnasium on Saturday.

Mertens did the bulk of his damage in the first half, in which he went 4-of-6 from downtown to give the Leopards a 37-34 lead at halftime.

La Verne stretched the lead to 47-39 about five minutes into the second half as Mertens opened the half with another three and Arnold sank a couple of jumpers. But Sean Milligan and Al Bjekovic combined to score 10 unanswered points for Redlands and it was a back-and-forth battle the rest of the way.

The Leopards had a chance to tie the game late when Kyle Husslein missed the back end of his double-bonus that would've given the Redlands a two-possession lead but La Verne gave up the rebound to the Bulldogs and had to foul again.

La Verne falls to 5-8 overall and 3-2 in SCIAC play. Redlands improves to 6-8 and 2-3.

Arnold was just shy of a double-double, hauling in a team-high nine rebounds. He also gave out four assists and swiped three steals.

Khaneal Mason posted 13 points, four assists and three steals off the bench for La Verne and Anthony White added 14 points.

Sean Milligan scored a game-high 23 points for Redlands and Bjekovic notched a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Husslein added 20 points and Kyle Milligan collected a game-high 14 rebounds.

The Leopards are back in action on Wednesday at home against Pomona-Pitzer.