THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — In a loud and crowded Gilbert Arena, the Cal Lutheran community said goodbye to its four graduating Regals basketball seniors – Grace Derksen, Rylie Wada, Kayla Watterson and Liana Minassian – Saturday night. Though, scoring toe-to-toe in three of the contest's quarter, the No. 20 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas took the game 57-43.
Overall, both programs shot just 27.9 percent from the floor while the Regals held the Athenas to just 11.8 percent (2-17) from behind the arc. In contrast, Cal Lutheran shot 28.0 percent in three-point attempts (7-25) with field points coming from ten different scorers.
Starting all four seniors on the court, the Regals stayed within two possessions of the No. 20 team in the nation throughout the first quarter. After winning the tip for the last time in her career, Watterson immediately passed the ball over to Derksen who induced tears from both benches and the stands.
Closing the night with a total of nine points, sophomore Jozie Tangeman tabbed two huge threes in first quarter alone, including a buzzer beater from half court off a quick pass from Minassian to close the first period trailing 16-13.
Unfortunately for the Regals, the second quarter did fare as nicely, scoring just three points from the free throw line to dig a 30-16 deficit heading into halftime. However, the team entered the back half of the contest outscoring the Athenas 14-13 in the third.
More importantly, the biggest play of the night, occurred in the period. Three minutes into the quarter, Wada nailed a contested three from the left corner and got the and-one to break Cal Lutheran's scoring drought. The stands rose to their feet and the Regals bench jumped in excitement as the decibels in Gilbert Arena reached a season-high.
And though the Regals went shot for shot with the Athenas in the fourth, the rally came just a little too short a little too late, allowing CMS to take the game by a final score of 57-43. Cal Lutheran finishes the season 9-16 overall and 6-10 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Box Score: CMS 57, CLU 43
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director