LA VERNE, Calif. – It was déjà vu tonight as Cal Lutheran lost an early lead to La Verne in the final minutes, dropping an 85-81 decision in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play at the Frantz Athletic Court.
In a loud environment, the Leopards completed a come-from-behind effort, in similar fashion to their first meeting of the year, despite CLU leading for the majority of the contest and five different players reaching double figures for the Violet and Gold.
CLU opened a 43-36 halftime lead, but a late second half push by the Leos, outscoring CLU 49-38 in the second stanza, sent the ULV seniors home with a victory in their final home game while the Kingsmen dropped their second straight.
With 1:19 to play a three-pointer by Vince Bauer knotted the teams at 79-79. On the next CLU possession an acrobatic reverse layup by Dan Wade bounced off the rim twice and landed in the hands of Jayvaughn Nettles under the CLU basket before Bauer pulled the ball out and Jake Vieth dove on the floor to recover it, calling timeout with 48.9 seconds to play in regulation.
The Leopards came right back as Jourdan Simmonds hit a three-pointer, giving ULV their first lead since tip-off at 82-79. After a Leopards time-out the Kingsmen came back and drove down the court with Martin Flowers scoring to get CLU back within a point at 82-81 with 19.1 ticks to play. Cal Lutheran called a time-out of their own to talk things over. A quick CLU foul put Simmonds at the charity stripe, where he hit both for an 84-81 ULV advantage. A missed Cal Lutheran three-point attempt forced the Kingsmen to foul again, in a final attempt to get the ball back with four seconds to play. Simmonds missed the first and hit the second to make it a two-possession game and lock up the win for the Leopards.
The teams were evenly matched on the court and on paper tonight.
Cal Lutheran shot at a higher clip, 59.2 percent from the floor, than La Verne (52.6), but the Leopards slightly edged CLU from three point rage, connecting for 66.7 percent as CLU converted 60 percent. The Kingsmen also had the edge from the charity stripe, going 17-for-21 (81 percent) while La Verne struggled going 15-for-24 (62.5 percent).
La Verne grabbed 33 rebounds to 23 for Cal Lutheran. CLU came down with just six on the offensive end of the floor and ULV grabbed 15 for a second chance, which was the difference in the game. Alex Wolpe led all players with eight boards for the Leopards while Corey Quintana had a team-high, five, for the Kingsmen.
Both Wade and Michael Palmer scored 18 points to share the Kingsmen lead while Nettles, Guy Lynott and Quintanapoured in 14, 12 and 11, respectively. Wade and Lynott each handed out two assists and Quintana was credited with a pair of blocks.
Vieth led all players with 19 points and Simmonds chipped in with 17 as the duo combined for a 7-for-11 performance from behind the three-point line. Bauer also reached double figures with 14 for the Leopards.
Cal Lutheran (10-14, 6-9 SCIAC) closes out their 2012-13 campaign on Tuesday, Feb. 19 when they travel to Chapman to tip-off with the Panthers at 7:30 p.m.