SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The Cal Lutheran women's basketball team was led by freshman Kailee Yan as she put up 19 points, going 4-for-4 from three-point range, as the Regals won their season opener verses UC Santa Cruz, 63-46, Friday night in Kaiser Permanente Arena.
The Regals won their opening game for the second year in a row. CLU used a well-balanced offense as 11 players scored against the Banana Slugs. Yan scored the game-high 19 points and added three rebounds in her first collegiate game.
Junior transfer Kayla Watterson was playing in her first game for the Regals and scored nine points and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds, five of which were offensive. Natalie Ruhl chipped in with nine points.
Cal Lutheran's bench was the difference in the game and outscored UCSC's bench 49-8. The Regals were also on-point from the free-throw line and made 13-of-15. Taylor Oshiro, Jozie Tangeman and Tea Carbullido each scored the first points of their collegiate careers. Defensively, Watterson and Grace Derksen recorded two steals each while Kiana Gray tallied two blocks.
The Regals opened the game on an 8-1 run as Derksen and Yan connected on their first three-pointers of the season. CLU grew the lead to as high as 10 before the Banana Slugs cut it to eight. The Regals led 15-7 after the first quarter. Yan outscored UCSC by herself in the first quarter as she put up eight points.
In the second quarter, Gray got in on the scoring with a three of her own and CLU was up 18-9. Carbullido scored her first points in a Violet and Gold uniform, Ruhl added a three-pointer and the Regals had a 23-9 lead. The Banana Slugs scored the final five points of the first half, but it was Cal Lutheran that had the lead at 23-14. The Regals bench scored 15 points in the first half, compared to UCSC's five.
UC Santa Cruz closed the gap in the second half to five at 25-20. The Regals answered and scored six straight to push the lead back to double-digits. The teams then exchanged baskets and CLU was up 33-22 with 5:35 left in the third quarter. The Regals continued to put up the points and scored eight straight in all and took a 39-22 lead. Cal Lutheran ran away with the game in the fourth quarter and won handily, 63-46.
Up next for the Regals is Pacific (Ore.) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, Calif.
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director