Regals Roll to Opening Day Victory, Top Century Mark
CLU wins big to begin season
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The stars were aligned tonight as theCal Lutheran women’s basketball team opened a 14-0 lead en route to a 101-39 victory on opening night behind a huge double-double performance from Starla Wright. The Regals cruised past the Bethesda University Flames at the Gilbert Arena in a lopsided contest more than doubling up their non-conference opponents.
CLU got ahead early to set the tone, never surrendering the lead. Mid-way through the opening frame Natalie Stone and Erica Whitley knocked down back-to-back three-pointers on consecutive possessions, pushing the advantage to 30-12. The offensive outpouring came from a pair of seniors in the first half, though Stonewas responsible for putting the Regals past the 100-point plateau with 11 seconds remaining on Cal Lutheran’s third attempt at breaking the mark.
Five Regals finished with double digit points behind a 23-point performance from Whitley. She scored 10 in the opening half on 4-for-7 shooting before finishing with a game-high of 23 on a 10-for-16 night from the floor. The senior guard added a game-high eight steals.
Pacing all players was Wrightwho recorded a first half double-double of 13 rebounds and 10 points before finishing with 16 and 14, respectively in just 19 minutes of action.
Channing Fleischmann poured in 16, Rachel Heagy had 12 and Alex Nelson tallied 11 for CLU. Nelson was an assist away from a double-double of her own with nine, also adding five steals in the defensive effort.
Overall, CLU was much tougher on the glass, outrebounding Bethesda 53-29, pulling down 23 offensive boards while allowing just four. None of those offensive rebounds came in the opening 20 minutes of action.
Wright’s rebounds led all players while Stone was tied for the second most. Both Stone and Flesichmann recorded a pair of blocks.
Bethesda was led by Kerie Brown and Lidia Rivas with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Cal Lutheran (1-0) will be back in action next week when they host the Posada Royale Thanksgiving Classic Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-24. CLU will face Carleton at 3:00 p.m. George Fox and Chapman will follow with a 5:00 p.m. tip-off.