THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The title for the 19th Annual Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Tournament at Cal Lutheran went to the host squad inside of the Gilbert Arena this evening with a 71-57 victory over Hamline. In the consolation final earlier today Ripon defeated Otterbein by an 85-61 margin.
Headlining the All-Tournament Team was Arik Smith who was named the Most Valuable Player. Joining him from CLU were Coltrane Powdrill and Corey Quintana with Dior Ford (HC), Jake Bischoff (OC) and Ty Sabin (RC) rounding out the honorees.
Both teams clearly deserved to be in the title game with an evenly matched contest from the get-go. The score changed hands six times and was tied another half a dozen, though all of those occurred in the opening half. CLU combined to shoot 47.4 percent from the floor with a 4-for-7 three-point shooting night and a solid game at the charity stripe (13-for-16) while Hamline finished at a 45.1 overall clip, knocking down 6-for-13 from long range, but struggled at the free-throw line (5-for-11).
The largest differential in the first 20-minute period was five points and each squad earned that position. When Bennett Cooper dunked the ball at the 12:33 mark, HC took a 15-10 lead, but CLU came back to reverse the deficit with 28 seconds to play in the first frame on a Michael Palmer three-pointer and Cal Lutheran never trailed for the remainder of the contest.
After the intermission the Kingsmen got the ball to begin activity and executed their game plan from the start and Powdrillscored the first of his three consecutive buckets for CLU during a 6-0 run. After the first basket Quintanacame up big on the defensive end with a block, putting the ball back in Powdrill's hands for another layup. He again layed the ball in on the ensuing CLU possession, after nabbing an offensive rebound, pushing the Cal Lutheran advantage to 11 at 37-26.
Hamline hung around and got back within five points on a Dior Ford three-pointer with 10:52 to play, but CLU continued to string scoring sequences together while getting stops at the defensive end to maintain a cushion. When Jeremy Sulker-Hall converted a fast-break layup on an assist from Dan Wade the Kingsmen opened a double figure lead they would not relinquish. The largest advantage of the half was 15 points, which happened twice, both by way of Powdrill, the first on an and-one and the second on a jumper with 1:21 to go for the final CLU points of the game.
Hamline (5-5) returns to Minnesota with a split. Cooper paced the Pipers with a 16-point night followed by Ford with 12. Marshall Jestings shared the game-high with four assists, also chipping in six points on a pair of three-pointers. Dylan See-Rockers was perfect at 3-for-3 from the field for six as well. Defensively, Jake Kreuser tallied five blocks, also contributing offensively with eight points.
Cal Lutheran (10-1) recorded its tenth win of the season and remains undefeated at the Gilbert Arena. Behind a game-high 25 points from Powdrill, Guy Lynott had a solid game with 12 points, notching nine rebounds for the second consecutive game to lead all players. Sulker-Hall also broke into double figures with 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Smith handed out four assists and came up with a game-high four steals as well. CLU came down with 38 rebounds, as a unit, with Powdrill and Quintana recording eight apiece and Sulker-Hall grabbing six.
In the consolation final to start day two, Ripon opened a 44-28 halftime advantage en route to the victory, never trailing. The largest gap of the game came late in the second stanza when RC went up by 24 points on a three-pointer from Drew Liebner. The Red Hawks finished shooting at a cumulative 55.2 percentage from the floor, with a 10-for-19 performance from three-point range. RC also produced a perfect free-throw showing by going 11-for-11, behind a four FT night from David Klink. On the glass, the Red Hawks out rebounded the Cardinals 35-22 with nine offensive boards that led to 15 second chance points. Brad Brooks led all players with seven while Sabin came down with six.
Ripon (6-4) had four players reach double digits with Ty Ketz leading all players by tallying 18. Books was next with 15 followed by Sabin and Kyle Loughrin with 11 and 10, respectively. Klink added three assists and two steals, both a share of the game-high with multiple other players.
Otterbein (2-9) was consistent, shooting 44 percent in the opening half and 44.8 percent in the second to end at a 44.4 clip tonight, but it was not enough to catch Ripon. Bischoff paced the Cardinals with 15 points, including a trio from three-point range, while Chase Moyer scored 14 and Grant Fenner totaled 12. Both Fenner and Marc McCuen came down with five rebounds for OC tonight.
Cal Lutheran has concluded non-conference play and will be back in action on Thursday, Jan. 2 when the Kingsmen host La Verne in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown at 7:30 p.m.
Tournament Central: 19th Annual Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Tournament
Box Score: RC 85, OC 61
Box Score: CLU 71, HC 57
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