THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - For the first time since mid-November the Cal Lutheran men's basketball team tipped off at the Gilbert Arena where the Kingsmen defeated Bethesda by a 65-55 margin tonight.
At the intermission, CLU had built a 39-24 advantage thanks in large part to a 13-2 run sparked by a Dan Wade three-pointer at the 14:51 mark and capped off by an Arik Smith jumper with 10:20 to play in the period. During the run, Smith was on fire, contributing eight points on four straight buckets and Wade hit consecutive baskets to tie and obtain the lead during that stretch.
In the second half, the Kingsmen expanded their lead to 20 points following a 7-0 showing in which Coltrane Powdrill pitched in two baskets. Lanaki Apele came off the bench and quickly scored a lay-up and Kellen Birdsall added two points of his own.
Midway through the half Apele flashed his defense when he scurried down the court in a 2-on-1 situation and, after sandwiching the offensive player with Connor McGuire, the junior guard came up with a big block to end Bethesda's fast break opportunity.
The visiting team was able to pull back within an eight point difference late in the period, however, the Kingsmen were able to maintain the lead and walked off the court with the win.
On a night when eight different Kingsmen scored, Smith led the way with 29 points, two shy of his personal best, on 11-for-17 shooting with a perfect 6-for-6 performance at the free-throw line while adding four assists. Powdrill contributed 13 points and nine rebounds, nearly finishing with a double-double. Rounding out the double-figure scorers tonight was Wade with 10.
Guy Lynott was a defensive menace with five rebounds while notching a share of the game-high with three blocks tonight. Powdrill matched Lynott and Birdsall added two on a night that CLU combined for nine blocks. Smith also led all players with four steals and came down with seven rebounds, including five on the offensive end, as well.
Cal Lutheran (2-2) will be back in the Gilbert Arena on Friday where they will face UC Santa Cruz at 7:30 p.m.