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LA VERNE, Calif. – Preventing any single player from reaching double digits in the scoring column and holding the entire opposing team to a 28.3 shooting percentage, La Verne rolled to an easy 64-40 victory over Linfield Sunday evening at the Frantz Athletic Court.
Getting 15 points from Amanda Copas and another 11 from Riki Murakimi, the Leopards evened their early season record to 1-1 while dropping the Wildcats to 0-2 on the year.
La Verne took the lead on a Copas jumper 15 seconds after the opening tip and never looked back. The home team limited Linfield to just 14 points in the opening period, keeping the ‘Cats in single figures until a Tyra Barawis jumper with 2:35 on the clock. By that point, the Leopards had opened up an eight-point lead, 18-10.
Any hope of a second-half Linfield comeback was thwarted by La Verne’s hot 3-point shooting. The Leopards connected on 10 of 17 attempts from beyond the arc over the final 20 minutes, including three by Copas. The Wildcats, conversely, had no long-range game to speak of, missing all seven of their three-point tries for the evening.
Consequently, the scoring gap only widened as the game wore on. With 13:59 left to play, the spread had grown to 17 points in favor of the Leopards.
Linfield seemed to have the most success drawing contact and getting to the charity stripe, but only converted 14 of its 26 opportunities. The Wildcats also struggled to maintain possession, turning the ball over 24 times.
Kaely Maltman paced the Wildcats with eight points, half of which came from the free throw line. Tayler Martinez added seven points, Katelyn Henson had six and Barawis and Taylor Solomon each scored five.
'CAT SCRATCH: The Wildcats had defeated La Verne once each during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, including a 75-72 victory last year in McMinnville...Taylor Solomon had a team-high three steals...three Linfield freshmen enjoyed their first collegiate games and Jessica McMillan made her first career start.
COMING UP: Linfield heads to Whittier for its third game in as many days. Tipoff at Dave Jacobs Court is set for 7 p.m. Monday night.