The University of La Verne men’s basketball team opened its home season Dec. 2 against the Westmont College Warriors and, as is usually the case when these two teams meet, the Leos came out on the short end of a 76-48 score.
In recent seasons Westmont has manhandled La Verne, and last week’s contest was no exception.
Due to their hot shooting from the floor, the Warriors were able to take an early lead and never look back.
Westmont was also aided by the fact that three of its starters were 6-5 or taller while the Leos had only one starter over 6-3, and he (Glen Daniels) is the only member of the entire squad who is listed as taller than 6-4.
The contest was a runaway in the end, but the Leos managed to save a little face (though it was very little indeed) in the first half by trailing only 34-20 at the intermission. That was a 14-point deficit despite Andre Bossieux’s game-high 10 points for the first half. That is what hurt the Leos, the fact that only Bossieux was able to consistently hit from the outside.
With the size of Westmont’s front wall, the Leos were unable to penetrate for the inside buckets and thus their offense was inept. Westmont, on the other hand, was able to take the inside shots and was hot from the outside the entire game, as it turned the second half of the contest into a boatrace.
Westmont’s 76 points were well divided amongst its 11 players, a sign of a good team. Four Warriors scored in double figures, including 11 from Torrey Larson off the bench. The leader was Dave Schultz with a meager 12 points, a sure sign of a squad playing team ball.
On the other side of the coin, the Leo spotlight was headed by Bossieux, who finished the night with 15 points. Despite the Leos’ poor performance, there were two bright spots: the leadership and hustle of senior Tim Roe and the play of 6-7 center Daniels. Daniels’ performance was definitely worth mentioning, considering the war he waged against the front wall of Westmont. It was he, the only Leo big man who was constantly fighting under the boards and did not find himself in foul trouble until late in the game (something Head Coach Jack Smith must have found both pleasing and amazing), when he eventually fouled out.
The loss dropped the Leos’ season record to 1-2, including their third place finish in the Cal Lutheran Tournament, where La Verne began its season by losing to Cal Lutheran and defeating UC Santa Cruz.
The Leos lost to Point Loma 85-69 Saturday night to drop their record to 1-3. Bossieux and Daniels were again the scoring leaders with 18 and 10 points respectively… Leo fans have much to worry about if the Westmont game is any indication of the way the season will go. Most of the teams In the SCIAC have at least as much size… The next (and only) home game for the Leos in December is scheduled for tomorrow night at 8. The site, however, has been switched to Bonita High School due to La Verne’s hosting of the AIAW Women’s National Volleyball Tournament… The Leos traveled to Riverside to take on Cal Baptist last night and will play a slew of road games during the holidays before opening SCIAC play Jan. 9 at Whittier… After four games last year, the Leos were 0-4 en route to a 13-13 season and a 6-6 SCIAC mark.