by Gloria Diaz
Arts & Entertainment Editor
As the 2002-2003 season gets underway, the University of La Verne men’s basketball team is looking to improve on last season’s standings.
After ending the 2001-02 season in fifth place, the men’s basketball team hopes to keep the momentum it currently holds with a 3-0 record.
The Leopard men traveled to Riverside to go up against La Sierra University on Nov. 26.
La Sierra led 31-25 at half but ULV would surpass the Golden Eagles. In a second half spurt the Leopards scored 52 points whereas La Sierra only scored 20.
La Verne shot 50 percent in the second half while La Sierra maintained 23 percent shooting.
ULV would go on to beat the Golden Eagles with a score of 83-45.
Guards Marc McCoy and Steve Rugg led the pack by scoring 15 points each. Forward Joe Bolander added 13 points to the total, while achieving seven rebounds on the night.
On Nov. 22 and 23, the Leopards opened their 2002-2003 season at the Chapman Invitational Tournament, where they faced off against Cal Maritime Academy and Southwestern University.
Against CMA, ULV shot 41 percent from the field and 69 percent from the free-throw line as the Leopards held the lead at halftime.
Junior Steve Reese was able to score 18 points and had eight rebounds.
Rugg and McCoy scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, helping to beat CMA by a score of 81-72.
On the second day of the tournament, ULV managed a 31-point win over Southwestern by a score of 96-65. McCoy once again showed that he is worthy of the First Team All-SCIAC selection from a year ago, as he scored 24 points.
Although this is the beginning of the season, head coach Terry Boesel is happy with the current standings the team holds and hopes the team will continue to play hard with stability.
“We need to continue to play a hard 40 minutes and not have so many ups and downs,” he said.
Boesel sees a challenge coming from Cal Lutheran, which has many of last year’s players returning to the team and Occidental College, who has acquired some good transfers.
“We (want) to try and disrupt what they want to do offensively and get our guys to play harder,” he said.
Right now, the team has its sights set on attaining the conference championship. Sophomore forward Shawn Lokar believes that the team’s cohesive play will improve its chances of going to playoffs.
“The style of play is better among the team; we play at a faster pace, and we have a better defense,” Reese said.
Reese sees this improvement as something that can help them make it to the playoffs.
In its upcoming game against La Sierra, Boesel would like to see the team play consistently throughout the game, “rather than a good second half and a bad first half,” he said.
ULV will face La Sierra again at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow; it will be the second time these teams have met.
Next week, the Leopards will host Vanguard on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Notre Dame on Sunday at 7:30 p.m in the Supertents.