THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Cal Lutheran's Grace Derksen hit a clutch three-pointer with 16 seconds left in the game to give the Regals a 64-58 win over Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe, Occidental Tigers, Wednesday night inside Gilbert Arena.
With the win, CLU has now won three straight games, is 5-1 on the season and stayed undefeated in SCIAC play at 2-0. Oxy dropped to 4-2 and 1-1.
Derksen scored a career-high and led the Regals with 16 points on 6-8 shooting while going 2-for-3 from behind the arc. She also grabbed five rebounds and tallied two steals on the night.
Kiana Gray added 11 points of her own, while picking up nine boards, three assists and one steal. Natalie Ruhl also finished in double-digits with 10 points and three rebounds. Nayiri Aslanian added nine points and hit two big three-pointers. Kayla Watterson tallied six points, eight rebounds, three blocks, two assists and one steal.
Gray got the Regals on the board with her first shot from the field when she knocked down a three-pointer from the corner. Watterson added two quick baskets in the opening minutes to spark an 11-2 Cal Lutheran run to start the game. CLU finished the quarter strong and led 15-7 after the first period of play.
The Violet and Gold used some efficient shooting to increase their lead and forced an Occidental timeout in the beginning of the second quarter.
After an outstanding start to the quarter for the Regals, the Tigers got back into the game and cut the deficit to nine points. CLU held Occidental to 37 percent shooting and led 34-25 at halftime.
Ruhl hit a three from the top of the key to open the second half scoring as the Regals picked up right where they left off. Cal Lutheran led by as much as 12 in the third quarter, but the Tigers were able to close the gap and the score was 47-40 heading into the final period.
Aslanian opened up the fourth quarter with a shot from three-point range to put the lead back at 10.
Halfway through the fourth quarter, Watterson picked up her fifth foul and was out for the rest of the game. The Regals played without her for the final five minutes and were able to come together as a team. Occidental proceeded to cut the lead to just three points with less than three minutes to play, which forced a CLU timeout. Every time Oxy scored, Cal Lutheran answered back.
Rylie Wada finished off a clutch layup, despite some contact on her way to the rim, to give Cal Lutheran a six-point lead just under the two-minute mark. Occidental's Alyssa Ramlochan answered with a three of her own to once again cut the lead to just three points.
On the Regals' final possession, Derksen sealed the victory with a long three to cap off her stellar night.
Shariah Green led the Tigers with 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Emily Leonard tallied four assists and Tala Ismail had four steals.
Cal Lutheran will be back inside Gilbert Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m. to face Westmont College in a non-conference matchup.
Box Score: CLU 64, OXY 58
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director; Jeff Rebello, Student Intern