CLAREMONT, Calif. — Though Cal Lutheran entered Monday night's contest with a 3-0 start to conference play, the Regals encountered their first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss of the season to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas 72-54.
Cal Lutheran jumped out to a quick 7-0 score to start the game behind an opening three from freshman Haley Tyrell followed by consecutive field goals from Tyrell and sophomore Jozie Tangeman. However, CMS quickly responded with a 14-point unanswered scoring run to double up the Regals with four to play in the first quarter.
Sophomores Jade Jordan and Jessi Westering finally broke the offensive drought with a pair of free throws each, giving the Regals the boost to finish out the period with a layup from senior Kayla Watterson and trey from sophomore Kailee Yan.
Down just two possessions 21-16 entering the second quarter, the Athenas found a way to hold Cal Lutheran scoreless the first half of the period while jumping out to their largest lead of the game. Though sophomore Taylor Oshiro closed the period again with a shot from behind the arc for the Regals, the Athenas pushed out their advantage to 43-25 entering halftime.
Eager to close the deficit, junior Natalie Ruhl opened the back half of the match with a big three just 13 seconds into the third. The defense then stepped up to hold CMS scoreless for the next two and half minutes while forcing two turnovers in that stretch.
Continuing to chip at their deficit, Westering was near perfect from the free throw line while Yan and Tyrell found deep shots to fall from the perimeter to bring the Regals to within 59-44 entering the final ten minutes of the contest.
Taking advantage of free throw struggles by the Athenas, Westering knocked down a deep three of her own from the top of the arc to spur a Regals comeback with eight minutes to play. Ruhl added a layup followed by free throws from Tyrell and layup from freshman Mackenzy Iwahashi to bring Cal Lutheran within now just ten points 64-54 of CMS with just under three on the clock.
However, the offensive rhythm came a little too late as CMS took back the momentum from the Regals by drawing back-to-back offensive charges and closing out the game by an eventual score of 72-54.
Overall, Westering and Tyrell led the offense with double-digit point nights, contributing 12 and ten points, respectively. Though only 1-2 from behind the arc, Westering was 7-8 from the line to record her season-high in points. Tyrell, on the other hand, earned her first career start and shot 3-6 from the field and 2-3 in three-point attempts.
Cal Lutheran returns to the court on Wednesday night against the Redlands Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. PST inside Currier Gym.
Box Score: CMS 72, CLU 54
W Basketball Instagram: @regals_basketball
W Basketball Twitter: @CLUwBasketball
CLU Instagram: @clusports
CLU Twitter: @CLUSports
CLU Facebook: CLU Sports
Hashtags: #clusports #goregals #gokingsmen #ownthethrone #theSCIAC #ncaad3
Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director