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LA VERNE 66, GEORGE FOX 40: Cold Touch in SoCal Dooms Bruins against Leopards
LA VERNE, Calif. – A frigid first half of shooting put the George Fox University Bruins in a hole from which they never recovered, resulting in a 66-40 loss to the University of La Verne Leopards in the second game of their three-game men’s basketball swing through southern California Wednesday night here at the La Verne Gym.
After an early 2-2 tie, the Leopards jumped ahead 14-5 by hitting six of their first eight shot attempts while the Bruins were connecting on only two of their first 12 tries. Although the Leopards cooled off after that, making only six of 21 the rest of the half, the Bruins could not take advantage of the home team’s slump as they sank only six of their final 19 attempts in the period. La Verne finished the first half with a .413 shooting mark (12-29), while George Fox was at .258 (8-31).
Cole Whitehurst, who led the Bruins with eight first-half points, dunked to bring the visitors within seven at 16-9 at the 12:10 mark, only to have the Leopards respond with six unanswered points. Sam Adams hit a jumper to give La Verne its first double-digit lead at 20-9, and a basket by Trevor Woodland, who had 10 in the first half for the Leopards, made it 22-9 with 8:46 to go, their largest lead of the half. A Rich Smith jumper with 2:28 left got the Bruins’ deficit back into single digits at 25-16, but they still trailed by ten at 28-18 after the first 20 minutes.
Baskets by Mike Taylor and Whitehurst around two Stephen Wiseley free throws brought the Bruins within four at 28-24 two minutes into the second half and gave the Oregonians some hope. It was still a four-point game after Taylor canned the Bruins’ first and only three-pointer of the game with 16 minutes left to make it 33-29, but the Leopards caught fire again, taking off on a 20-3 run over the next seven-and-a-half minutes to build a 53-32 lead that effectively sealed the win. Jerad McCann’s free throws with 55 seconds left gave the Leopards their largest lead and the final score at 66-40.
It was an all-around dismal shooting night for the Bruins as they hit .262 (16-61) from the field, including .059 (1-17) from three-point range, and were only .438 (7-16) from the stripe. The Leopards managed to shoot .424 (25-59) on field goals, including .357 (5-14) on threes, and hit .733 (11-15) from the line.
Whitehurst was the only Bruin in double figures with 14 points, though Taylor just missed his first career double-double with nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Wiseley passed out four assists.
Woodland led all scorers with 18 points, the only double-digit scorer for the Leopards. Tyler Hoyt had seven boards, leading La Verne to a 50-37 advantage in rebounds. John Leggett handed out eight assists.
NEXT: George Fox (3-7) will take a day off for some sightseeing Thursday, then complete its road trip Friday at 22nd-ranked Chapman University. Game time is 5:00 p.m. ... La Verne (5-4) hosts Marietta College Thursday at 7:30 p.m.