LOS ANGELES — Cal Lutheran women's basketball team took on the Occidental Tigers on the road Wednesday night and left Rush Gymnasium with a 54-51 victory.
This is the Regals fourth straight win, improving them to 11-7 overall and 6-3 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). The win keeps Cal Lutheran in the third spot in overall conference play.
Senior Kiana Gray led the team offensively as she scored 18 points, one point shy of tying her career-high. Gray was 7-for-8 from the free throw line and 1-for-2 from the three-point arc. She also led the team with the most rebounds as she pulled down 8 boards, two offensive and six defensive, respectively. Jessi Westering was right behind Gray, as she pulled down seven rebounds, six defensively and one offensive.
Natalie Ruhl was second for the Regals for the most points as she put away nine and Grace Derksen was close behind Ruhl with eight points. Gray also added two steals for the night, along with Kayla Watterson who had two steals of her own.
It was close in the beginning, as each team was going basket for basket until the Tigers went on an 11-0 run halfway through the first quarter. The Regals struggled to come back from the first quarter deficit and went into halftime down 19-27.
As the third quarter started, the Regals did not wait to take charge. With an immediate free throw made by Derksen, a layup from Gray and then a huge three-pointer from Derksen, the Regals were back in the game and only down by two. Later in the third, Gray tied the game 29-all with a made layup. Derksen followed her again giving the Regals their first lead since the first quarter. The Tigers were able to put away a few baskets, giving them a three-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
Halfway through the fourth quarter, Ruhl made a layup which was followed by a made free throw that tied the Regals and the Tigers at 43 all. With two minutes left in the game, Ruhl made a clutch three-pointer. Gray was sent to the line twice in the last minute and a half of the game and made all four shots, helping the Regals take the lead, 52-48. She was sent to the line one last time with one second left on the clock, helping Cal Lutheran finalize their victory over the Tigers, 54-51.
The Regals will take on Claremont-M-S at home on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. inside Gilbert Arena.
Box Score: CLU 54, OXY 51
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Release by Nicki Tetherow, Assistant Sports Information Director
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