Kingsmen Survive in Triple-Overtime

On its senior day, the California Lutheran University men’s basketball team extended their winning streak to seven games as they defeated the Whittier Poets 111-108 in a triple-overtime thriller on Valentine’s Day. 

“The last time that we played Whittier it went into overtime, but there was no way I could have expected a game like this,” senior forward Coltrane Powdrill said.

Powdrill, guard Arik Smith, center John Green and guard Martin Flowers were the four seniors honored as the Kingsmen played their final home game of the regular season. Smith and Powdrill put on a show for the crowd at Gilbert Arena as they combined for 71 points, 26 rebounds, 10 assists and six steals impacting almost every facet of the game.  Powdrill led the charge for the Kingsmen as he registered a double-double with 36 points and 16 rebounds, while Smith was right behind him with 35 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Connor McGuire, junior guard Lanaki Apele, and junior forward Guy Lynott also reached double figures for the Kingsmen as they all had 10 points apiece.

From the opening tip it was a back-and-forth battle between the two conference opponents as the Kingsmen were playing to keep their first place position in the conference. Both teams took turns leading in the first half but the Poets took the lead going into halftime by a score of 48-47.

As the second half began, it seemed as if the Poets were poised to pull off the upset as they continued to extend their lead early. Whittier was up by as many as 15 points in the second half.

The Kingsmen would not be denied as they fought all the way back, regaining the lead on a Lynott offensive rebound and put back late in the second half. The lead would swing back and forth once again and as the final horn sounded, the score was tied 83-83 leading to the first overtime.

As the game continued into the first two overtimes, neither team was able to separate itself from the other, as the teams were matching each other shot for shot.

“Every time we would make a play they would come right back and answer,” Apele said. “Tonight we really showed how resilient of a team we can be and how we respond when our backs are up against the wall.”

The third overtime was when the Kingsmen finally were able to seal the deal, outscoring the Poets 12-9 in the final period. Powdrill scored five of the final six points for the Kingsmen with Apele adding the final free throw.

With this victory the Kingsmen hold sole position of first place in SCIAC with three games left in the conference season.

“We’ve shown all season that we can play well when the going gets tough,” Powdrill said. “It was great to get a win tonight for senior night, but we know we’re going to have to bring it down the stretch these last couple of games of the season to get some momentum going into the conference tournament.”

Alix Moise
Staff Writer
Published February 18th, 2015