ORANGE, Calif. — Led by a career-high night from freshman Haley Tyrell and team season-high in shooting, the Cal Lutheran Regals crawled back from an 18-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, but could not get over the final jump, falling 74-66 to the Chapman Panthers.
The loss moves Cal Lutheran to 1-1 on the season against Chapman, each team able to capitalize on their home court advantage. The result also moves the Regals to 8-11 overall and 5-5 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with six conference matchups left to play.
Cal Lutheran shot a season-high 46.3 percent (25-54) from the floor and their second-highest percentage in three-point shooting at 43.5 percent (10-23). However, unlike the first matchup between the two teams, Chapman also found their offensive groove, shooting 46.0 percent (29-63) from the floor and capitalized on turnovers to score nearly a third of their points on the night.
Individually for Cal Lutheran, Tyrell recorded a career-high 18 points behind her best night from behind the arc. The guard finished 7-13 from the floor and 3-4 in threes. Also crucial offensively, junior Natalie Ruhl collected her tenth double-digit scoring night with 13 points and now averages 10.0 points per game. Following her, sophomore Jozie Tangeman and senior Kayla Watterson added 10 and eight points, respectively.
Ruhl put Cal Lutheran on the board first with a quick layup to open the game and continued to come in clutch within the first period. When the Panthers began to pull ahead, freshmen Cameron Mallory and Mackenzy Iwahashi stepped up to eat the team's deficit before Ruhl drilled a dagger three to put the Regals back on top early.
The teams continued to respond basket-for-basket, though, and entered the second quarter knotted up at just 11 points apiece. However, while both sides attempted to capitalize on the long ball, Cal Lutheran found success in the paint in the final five minutes of the half led by Watterson and Tyrell.
On the other hand, late turnovers by Cal Lutheran allowed Chapman the go ahead 35-28 lead heading into the second half and the Regals continued to struggle to find their footing in the third quarter. As Cal Lutheran strained to get any shots from the perimeter to fall, a big third quarter for Chapman, shooting 10-16 in field goals, allowed them to pull away for an 18-point advantage heading into the fourth.
Down by their largest margin of the night, Tyrell caught fire and went off for 10 points in the final quarter alone, shooting 4-6 from the floor and 2-2 in treys. Her rally brought the Regals back within two possessions 62-68 with 1:42 left on the clock, but final free throws from the Panthers sealed the 77-64 win for Chapman.
Cal Lutheran returns to the court on Wednesday, January 30, against the Caltech Beavers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. inside Gilbert Arena.
Box Score: CU 74, CLU 66
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director