Men’s Basketball smothers Pacific (Ore.), wins 54-43

Men’s Basketball smothers Pacific (Ore.), wins 54-43

FOREST GROVE, Ore. — The University of La Verne men's basketball team held Pacific (Ore.) to just 21.3 percent shooting to pick up a wire-to-wire 54-43 victory at Stoller Center on Saturday night.

La Verne improves to 2-0 on the young season.

Hakim Arnold led the Leopards with 14 points while Kendall McClain had another strong night off the bench, scoring 12 points and grabbing three rebounds.

The Leopards limited the Boxers to 10 field goals on the night, including just three in the first half.

La Verne wasn't much better from the field to start, as both teams combined for just 18 points in the first 13 minutes of the game. But Weston Newell kick started an 11-1 on a fastbreak layup following his own steal to give La Verne a 14-point cushion. Newell and McClain accounted for all of La Verne points during that stretch as Newell added a layup and McClain sank a pair of three-pointers.

Newell stuffed the stat sheet with five points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Despite hitting just one shot from the field in a 13-minute stretch from about the nine-minute mark in the first half to the 16-minute mark in the second, the Boxers stayed alive by earning—and making—free throws. Pacific was 11-for-14 from the charity strip in the first half and was 21-for-27 on the game.

And when Coby Proctor hit a layup at the 15:48 mark in the second half, Pacific had slashed the lead to 26-24.

But La Verne responded immediately with three straight baskets. Karl Reyes hit a jumper on the next possession; Niall Harrison also hit a jumper and Reyes capped off the run with a three-pointer to stretch the lead back to nine.

Pacific made one final push with a 10-3 run and cut the lead to 43-39 with 2:48 to go. However, the Boxers cut off its own momentum with a technical foul.

Arnold converted both of the technical free throws for La Verne and with the ball back to the Leopards, Reyes hit a dagger three to extend the lead back to 48-39 to effectively put the game away for the Leopards.

Josiah Sukumaran tied for the game-high with 10 rebounds in just 27 minutes.

Harrison finished with nine points and four rebounds.

Danny Brakebush led the charge for Pacific with 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals off the bench.

The Leopards will enjoy the Thanksgiving week off before traveling to St. Louis, Mo., to compete in the 31st Annual Lopata Classic. La Verne will take on No. 9 Washington (Mo.) on Dec. 5 and will face No. 15 Emory on Dec. 6.

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