Regals Open Home Stand with Win
CLU snaps skid
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – For the first time during winter break the Cal Lutheran women’s basketball team stepped onto the court inside the Gilbert Arena. Today in non-conference action CLU defeated Wartburg 63-58 to begin a string of four consecutive home games.
After technical difficulties forced a long delay in the first half and an unconventional second half with no working scoreboards, the Regals remained composed and battled to the win behind hot shooting from Jessica Salottolo and a 9-for-9 performance from the free-throw line by Sofia Cruz as Cal Lutheran snapped a five game skid.
The biggest difference today was the bench production. While CLU used its depth for 32 points the Knights got just nine points from their bench. Three Regals earned double figure performances with both Cruz and reserve Salattolo sharing the team-high with 13. Sam Hernandez chipped in with four points and three rebounds, two coming on the offensive end of the court in 18 minutes of relief.
Coming off a tough double overtime loss to La Verne on Saturday, Wartburg was unable to regroup and CLU came out fired up. The Knights did give the Regals, who led by as many as 19 mid-way through the second half, a late run for their money by making it a one possession game at 59-56 with 10 seconds to play after Mary Brown converted a pair of free-throws.
Cruz would guide Cal Lutheran to the victory with six free-throws in as many chances over the final 38 seconds.
The Knights opened a quick 6-0 lead at the start of the contest, forcing Cal Lutheran head coach Lindsay Goltblatt to use a timeout off the bat. On their second possession after the brief team meeting Katy Lindor hit a three-pointer to get the Regals on the board. Janelle Porter knocked down the second of two free-throws at the 12:05 mark to knot the teams at 8-8 and Natalie Stone tied the teams again at 10-10. CLU would earn its first lead of the afternoon on a three-pointer from Jacoby, who came off the bench for 12 points in the opening stanza.
At the intermission the teams were separated by nine points with Cal Lutheran leading 27-18.
In the second half Wartburg made a push despite being fatigued. The Knights earned and-one opportunities on three consecutive possessions and cut the deficit to 32-27 on the middle three-point play of that run by way of Alyssa Sager. CLU responded with a 13-0 run capped by back-to-back three-pointers from Salottolo on assists from Cruz with the final bucket giving the Regals their largest lead of the day at 48-39.
Keely Anderson nearly joined the trio of double-figure scorers as well with nine points on a 3-for-6 three-point shooting afternoon and Stonerecorded a pair of game-highs with six assists and six steals. CLU got a pair of blocks from Anderson and Jacoby and Lindor led the Regals with seven boards. Overall, nine different players came down with at least one rebound.
Wartburg (5-5) will return to Iowa winless. The Knights were led by Allison Emrich with 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting. She also had a share of the team-lead with six rebounds, matching Sager as the duo combined for seven offensive boards in the game. Holly Hallstead nabbed five steals for Wartburg as well.
Cal Lutheran (3-6) returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 28 against UC Santa Cruz at 2:00 p.m. as part of the three day, three-team Posada Royale Tournament. Worcester Polytechnic will be the final team competing in the mini Tournament.