PASADENA — Hakim Arnold had 20 points and three other Leopards reached double figures in scoring for the University of La Verne men's basketball team but Caltech rode a big second half run to beat the Leopards, 65-61, on Wednesday night at Braun Athletic Center.
La Verne falls to 9-14 overall and 7-7 in the SCIAC while Caltech improves to 9-14 and 7-7. With Whittier (9-6 SCIAC) beating Redlands (7-7 SCIAC), the falls into a four-way tie for third place in the SCIAC standings with the Bulldogs, the Beavers and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Brent Cahill scored nine points to spark an 18-4 second half Caltech run that saw the Beavers take a 43-37 lead. The Beavers eventually stretched the lead to as much as 10 points and that was enough to hold off a late La Verne rally.
The Beavers used their size effectively, turning 12 offensive rebounds into 16 second chance points and using post-ups to get easy looks at the basket.
Both teams started slowly, combining for just 17 points through the first 10 minutes of the game. But Cruz Mertens jumpstarted La Verne's offense with three straight 3-pointers, the rest of the Leopards took his cue and the Leopards went on a 22-2 run to open up a 28-13 lead.
The Beavers struck right back, however, as they trimmed the deficit to 30-23 going into the break and kept up the pressure in the second half.
Cahill led all players with 24 points off the bench for Caltech and Nasser Al-Rayes notched a double-double, scoring 12 points and hauling in 13 rebounds.
The Leopards are back in action on Saturday at Pomona-Pitzer.