PORTLAND, Ore. - The Cal Lutheran men's basketball team continued its hot start to the season with a pair of wins in Oregon over the Thanksgiving holiday. On Friday, the Kingsmen topped Lewis & Clark 87-83 before defeating George Fox 91-83 on Saturday.
With the win, CLU starts the year 4-0 for the first time since the 1996-97 season.
CLU def. LC 87-83
In what is becoming a trend to start the season, the Kingsmen got off to another quick start against the Pioneers. Four of the five starters all scored within the first seven minutes and CLU jumped out to an early 15-2 lead. Lewis & Clark, however, closed the first half on a 26-13 run to tie the score at 35-35 heading into the break.
The Violet and Gold opened the second half with a 23-7 run to take a 58-42 lead with 13:02 remaining. Adrian Francis and Caleb Richey led the Kingsmen offense in the half with 15 and 14 points, respectively, and the duo combined to go 14-of-18 from the charity stripe. The Pioneers made another run to cut the lead to just three points with 41 seconds to go, but CLU made their free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Wolfgang Wood led all players in the game with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field to go along with seven rebounds. A balanced attack from the starters saw 19 points apiece from Francis and Richey, while Austin Cole chipped in 16 with a pair of threes. Francis had a strong all-around game as well with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.
CLU def. GFU 91-83
In the second and final matchup of the trip on Saturday, the Kingsmen pulled out a tightly contested game against George Fox that featured 11 lead changes, 12 ties and no lead larger than eight points all night. Trailing 68-66 with 7:18 remaining, Richey knocked down a jumper and a three-pointer to give CLU a 71-68 lead. As the Bruins hung around, Wood scored an impressive 13 points in four minutes to extend the Kingsmen lead down the stretch and secure the victory.
Wood finished with a game-high 36 points on 15-for-22 shooting from the field while adding 11 rebounds for the double-double. Richey finished with 13 points and eight assists and the pair of Francis and Cole each reached double figures with 10 points. Sam Cirillo added eight points of the bench.
Cal Lutheran (4-0) is set to host its home opener this Thursday, Dec. 1 against Bethesda at 7:30 p.m. inside Gilbert Arena.