THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — As finals week wound down for Cal Lutheran, the Regals basketball team sent the semester home with an overtime thriller against the Knox Prairie Fire. The toe-to-toe battle went through a full 45 minutes, but the Regals ultimately pulled off the 76-71 victory behind clutch threes from sophomore Kailee Yan in overtime to extend their current win streak to four games.
Offensively, sophomores Jade Jordan and Jozie Tangeman put up a career-high 13 points in tonight's contest. Jordan finished the game 6-10 in field goals with a team-leading five steals. Tangeman went 4-11 herself, while nailing two clutch threes and the final free throws of the night to bag the win. Also with her fourth double-digit performance of the season, junior Natalie Ruhl notched 11 points with a team-best 4-5 at the free throw line.
As a whole, the team posted a season-high 76 points offensively, scoring 35 of those points off the Prairie Fire's 31 turnovers. In addition, the defense allowed Knox no greater than a two-possession lead the entire game – their highest lead of five points coming just three and half minutes into the game.
Though Knox ended the humdrum first quarter with the 13-10 advantage, Cal Lutheran increased their intensity and outscored the Prairie Fire 16-10 in the second quarter to take their first imperative lead of the night. Holding a one-possession deficit for the majority of the contest thus far, the Regals finally broke through with a layup from Ruhl with just 53 seconds left in the half followed by a midrange jumper from Jordan to head into halftime with a 26-23 lead.
The second half faired much the same as both teams responded attacking wave for attacking wave. Although Cal Lutheran was able to break away for their largest lead of the night of nine points with eight and half minutes left to play in the game, a series of big threes from Knox's Jarrelyn McCall sent the teams into extra time knotted up at 62 apiece.
The stress only continued into the overtime period, though, as the Regals struggled to get back-to-back shots from behind the arc to fall. However, while Knox recorded the first two points of the overtime period off free throws from Karlie Thorn, that would be it for them as the Regals scored six unanswered points to take the lead.
Freshman Haley Tyrell got things going with a free throw with three and a half minutes on the clock before Yan brought Gilbert Arena to its feet with the go-ahead three and movde Cal Lutheran on top 66-64. Padding the lead, freshman Mackenzy Iwahashi sank two free throws to move the Regals to 68-64.
But Knox was able to bring themselves back within one point with three consecutive free throws from McCall. Yet, once again, Yan nailed another massive three with 35 seconds on the clock to push the lead back to four 71-67 and seal away the win. While a series of free throws aided both scores, Cal Lutheran walked away with their fourth consecutive victory.
The win moves the Regals to 5-3 overall on the year as the team looks ahead to their Miami trip next week. Cal Lutheran takes on Babson on Tuesday, December 18, and Thomas More on Thursday, December 20, at the Miami Exclusive Invitational.
Box Score: CLU 76, KC 71
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