Basketball achieves success in new pavilion

Darnell Gilbert
Staff Writer

With the opening of Frantz Athletic Court the University of La Verne men’s basketball team, led by Jason Greenlee, overcame a halftime deficit, to battle back and defeat Cal Lutheran 82-74 on Saturday.

La Verne came into the game with a three game winning streak having defeated Whittier, Redlands and 12th rank Occidental. La Verne continued its hot streak by shutting down Cal Lutheran’s Sergei Lepiashinski in the second half. Lepiashinski sharp shooting put the Kingsmen up by 10 at halftime, having the Leopard crowd quiet and in shock.

“The day before we had a terrible practice,” head coach Gabe Duran said. “The bad practice carried over to the lack of intensity we had in the first half.”

The Leopards made a complete turn around in the second half with key three pointers by Greenlee, who led all scores with 27 and finished perfect from the free-throw line.

“At half time coach told us we needed to pick up the level of our play,” Greenlee said.

Senior guard Brandon Newte and junior transfer Tyrone Marshall had clutch three pointers to help La Verne pull further away from the Kingsmen. The Kingsmen tried to rally back after turnovers by the Leopards, but senior Lanier Brown stripped the ball away from Cal Lutheran’s Chris Jackson to clinch the win.

“We really wanted to get this win for the seniors,” Marshall said. “They got robbed this season out of a gym, so this win was really important to us.”

After a horrible start to SCIAC play, the Leopards have found a way to bounce back to a 5-4 record with intentions of finishing 10-4. Over the course of their four game winning streak, the Leopards have found a way to spread the ball out and play tough defense. La Verne has four players averaging over 10 points a game, with Greenlee averaging 17.4 points per game. Greenlee was also voted to the first team of the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII College Division Basketball Team. Unfortunately, the team’s success was halted by Pomona-Pitzer, 81-70, on Wednesday night.

Now that the Frantz Athletic Court, formerly known as the Supertents is open, the reminder of the home basketball games will be played there. The construction is still in its first phase and will continue. The Frantz Athletic Court now holds 1,100 in seating capacity and includes a media deck. The renovation of the pavilion is part of the university’s Campus Center Project, which also includes the construction of the Sara and Michael Abraham Campus Center and the Frank and Nadine Johnson Family Plaza.

La Verne looks to finish their season sweep over Caltech tomorrow in Pasadena at 7:30 p.m. The next home game is on Monday against Claremont, who they previously lost to in their last game, 70-58.

Darnell Gilbert can be reached at flawlessgee@yahoo.com
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