PASADENA, Calif. — Victor Costa finished with a double-double and the Univerisity of La Verne men's basketball team led the Linfield Wildcats with 7:03 left to play.
But the Wildcats went on a late run to take a 76-68 win over the Leopards Tuesday afternoon at the Braun Athletic Center.
Costa scored a game-high 19 points with four three-pointers on five attempts. The senior led all players with 13 rebounds, 10 defensive, to go with five assists.
After heading into the half with a 36-33 lead, the Leopards and Wildcats battled back and forth with neither team able to get a substantial lead.
With 7:30 left to play, Evan Gustafson drilled a pair of free throws to give La Verne a one point lead. After a missed three-point attempt by Linfield's Dempsey Roggenbuck, Brandon Rice sank a jumper to extend the Leopards' lead to three.
Linfield responded on the other end with a three-pointer that led to a 13-0 run, giving the Wildcats a 69-59 lead with just over three minutes in the game.
Layups by Gustafson and Costa followed by free throws from Rice and Costa cut the Leopards' deficit to six, but that was as close as they would get.
Connor Head totaled 15 points in the game to go with three rebounds and a pair of steals. Gustafson finished in double-digits with 10 points.
Liam O'Reilly paced the Wildcats with 14 points.
Season Impact: The Leopards fall to 2-0 in the young season. Linfield improves to 3-0.
Next Game: La Verne plays their home opener tomorrow at 2 p.m. in a game against Northwest Conference opponent Pacific.