THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — In a Saturday night Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) matchup, two seniors were recognized prior to tip-off and the Regals had a night to remember as the Cal Lutheran women's basketball team took down Pomona-Pitzer 57-55 inside of the Gilbert Arena in the final home game of the season.
The evening started with recognition of Kiana Gray and Nayiri Aslanian and their contributions to the team, program and university.
Once action got underway, the focus turned strictly to basketball. The Sagehens and the Regals were ready to battle it out as both teams started scoring immediately. Pomona-Pitzer outscored the Regals in the first quarter, 15-8. Cal Lutheran answered back out-shooting the Sagehens 14-8 in the second quarter. By halftime, the Regals were only down by one, 23-22, and carrying the momentum.
Out of the locker room, Rylie Wada started the Regals off with a steal and an assist to Kailee Yan who made a layup. As the Regals headed into the last quarter, it was a tied ball game, 41 all. Natalie Ruhl passed to Kayla Watterson who made herself available under the basket for a quick layup.
Down by two with two minutes left in the game, Watterson was sent to the line. She knocked down both free throws to tie the game at 55-55. Thirty seconds left, Cal Lutheran called for a thirty second timeout. Knowing it was their last chance to score, they knew Gray was the player to give the ball to. In the shot clock's final seconds, Gray sneaked by the Sagehens defense and scored a layup, leaving Pomona with four seconds to attempt a comeback. The Sagehens were unable to score, resulting in a sweet victory for the Regals as they walked away with a 57-55 win.
In her final home appearance with family and friends in the stands, Gray posted a team-leading 13 points, followed by Watterson and Derksen who scored 12 apiece. Wada handed out a team-high four assists while Derksen matched Ruhl with three.
Defensively, Watterson and Gray tallied eight boards apiece and Gray recorded a high of five blocks.
Pomona-Pitzer (6-14, 3-10 SCIAC) was led by a game-high 19 points from Renae Tamura while Anita Romero scored 12.
Cal Lutheran (13-10, 8-6 SCIAC) travels to Caltech on Wednesday, Feb. 14 for their second to last game of the SCIAC regular season.
Box Score: CLU 57, PP 55
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Release by Nicki Tetherow, Assistant Sports Information Director