THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The Cal Lutheran men's basketball team officially began their season in Gilbert Arena on Saturday night and after a tight contest all the way through, the Kingsmen came up on the losing end 57-54 to Bristol University.
Dan Wade led all scorers with 19 points and converted the only three, three-point field goals in the game for the Kingsmen while Arik Smith flirted with a triple-double finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Wade got the Kingsmen off to a hot start early by hitting four of his first five shots, including three from downtown as CLU took a 15-9 lead. Wade scored 11 of the team's first 13 points after coming out aggressive on the offensive end.
Bristol would use a 9-0 run to take the lead from the Violet and Gold and they would head in to the half with a 25-23 lead. Wade went 6-of-9 from the field in the first half, meanwhile the rest of the Kingsmen were just 4-of-23 and the team as a whole shot jut 31.3% from the field.
In the second half, both teams would take turns with the lead before the Bears jumped out to an eight-point advantage with 12:25 to play. Back-to-back layups by Smithand Coltrane Powdrill cut the lead to four with seven minutes left.
After playing a facilitator role in the first half with six assists, Smith provided another scoring threat for the Kingsmen in the second half. After just one field goal in the first twenty minutes of play, coming off an emphatic dunk after driving the lane, Smith converted six field goals in the second-half and had 14 second-half points.
CLU trailed 55-48 with just 1:40 to go, but two free throws and a 15-foot jumper from Smith made the score 55-52 with 29 seconds remaining. Looking to extend the game the Kingsmen fouled the Bears, however, they sank both of their free throws to put the game out of reach.
Powdrill finished with eight points and six boards, and Connor McGuire had a game-high 11 rebounds. In all, seven different players scored for CLU.
Cal Lutheran (0-1) will now travel to Hawaii where they will face their next two opponents, Pacific (Ore.) on Nov. 28 and Puget Sound (Wash.) on Nov. 29.
Box Score: BU 57, CLU 54
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Posted: Nov 22, 2014