Men’s basketball shoots way into new season

Annabel Secaida
Staff Writer
Jolene Nacapuy
Sports Editor

It may be a new year and a new season for the La Verne men’s basketball team, but with the same goals to succeed, the Leopards hope to make this season one worth remembering.

The Leopards ended last season with an overall record of 10-15 and 7-9 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Conference.

“Last season was a good preview of what’s to come this year,” junior center Brian Stiver said.

The team placed sixth last year and starting this season 2-0.

“This season, we are of course looking win as much as possible,” freshman guard Victor Costa. “Personally, my goal is to help lead the team to victory, stay composed and be a leader on the floor.”

The team traveled to Idaho Nov. 1 and lost to Boise State, 92-60 in their first exhibition game of the season at Taco Bell Arena.

Sophomore forward Evan Roberts led the game with 13 points.

Junior forward Nick Lewis followed with 12 points.

“Boise was a tough game and we definitely learned from it and brought it upon ourselves to play harder and play with a purpose and sense of urgency,” freshman guard Connor Head said.

The Leopards traveled Nov. 21 to Oregon and took on Willamette at Cone Field House and won, 73-63.

It was their technique at the three-point line that led the Leopards to victory, making 11 of 21.

At 16:03 in the first half, junior guard Weston Newell made a three-pointer to break the tie.

The Leopards went on to win their season opener. Sophomore guard Kendall McClain finished with a high of 17 points.

Competing again the next day, the Leopards defeated Pacific University, 54-43, at Stoller Center.

Sophomore guard Hakim Arnold earned a game high of 14 points, followed by McClain with 12 and senior point guard Karl Reyes with 11.

“Past games went really smoothly for us,” Stiver said. “They were only a glimpse of what we are going to accomplish this season.”

With seven more preseason games, the Leopards plan to use each game as practice preparation for this season.

“Two things we always focus on year to year are solid defense and aggressive rebounding,” Stiver said. “This year we are focusing more on patience and trying to really move the ball and make our opponents work.”

The team is currently in St. Louis, where they will compete in the 31st Annual Lopata Classic.

The Leopards will play Washington at 6 p.m. Saturday and Emory at 4 p.m. Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to having a good time with my team,” Stiver said. “In the end, it’s all about having fun.”

Annabel Secaida can be reached at annabel.secaida@laverne.edu.
Jolene Nacapuy can be reached at jolene.nacapuy@laverne.edu.

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