After losing a heartbreaking loss to Occidental Feb. 2, the Kingsmen basketball team came back with an 89-53 victory against the University of La Verne Leopards Wednesday, Feb. 6 to keep them in the postseason conversation.
The Kingsmen outperformed the Leopards with almost every statistic last night. One of their biggest advantages was from the three-point line. The Kingsmen collectively converted 41.7 percent of their three-point opportunities against the Leopards’ 15.8 percent.
Starting senior guard Kyle Ferreira led Cal Lutheran with four successful baskets behind the arc that contributed to his 28-point game. First-year guard Jared Wulbrun also had a double-digit game, connecting three times behind the three-point line.
It was the Kingsmen’s second game against La Verne this season, so they already knew their deficiencies, Wulbrun said. That’s how he tries to take advantage during their rematches. He also said that his team as a whole utilizes their playing time, especially junior guard Palmer Chaplin.
“Palmer comes in as the sixth man and really fills out the stats sheet,” Wulbrun said “Nine points here, five or six assists there; he really brings the grit we need,” Wulbrun said.
The starting five for the Kingsmen had shot so well statistically that the points from those five alone could have earned them the win against La Verne. But Cal Lutheran moved the ball around quite a bit, totaling 23 assists and making 56.9 percent of their field goals.
Ferreira, who recorded his sixth double-double Wednesday night, said that he uses his experience as a former Division I basketball player at California State University, Bakersfield to mold his performances today and help his younger teammates develop their game. He added how new collegiate play is to first-years, who are just coming out of high school. Just a couple years ago, Ferreira was in the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament facing University of Oklahoma.
He also said that the team’s performance has increased tremendously because of a late switch between sophomore and now starter guard Jarrett Powers and Chaplin, who is now the sixth man coming off the bench.
“Jarrett came in just three games ago I think and now usually leads each game with assists, and last night I think he also had four steals…Palmer has adapted to his new role well and, since the change, I think we have been playing our best basketball,” Ferreira said.
With their fifth conference win, the Kingsmen jump into sixth place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Kingsmen need to keep the winning streak alive to have a chance of catching up to Redlands and Whittier, sitting in fifth and sixth, respectively, with six wins in conference play. The Kingsmen are only half a game ahead of Chapman.
The Kingsmen will face the undefeated Pomona-Pitzer College, ranked number-one in SCIAC play, Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.