FOREST GROVE, Ore.– Head Coach Kelli DiMuro earned her first career victory at Cal Lutheran after the Regals fought off a furious comeback by hosts Pacific (Ore.) to earn their first win of the season.
Mackenzy Iwahashi led CLU with a career-high 18 points on the day, going 7-19 from the field. Cameron Mallory was extremely impressive, tallying a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Jade Jordan also got into double figures with 12 points on 3-6 shooting and 6-8 from the free throw line. Alexis Rodriguez was fantastic from three-point range, knocking down three shots from beyond the arc and registering 13 points. Jozie Tangeman made some big shots down the stretch as she contributed 10 points to the cause.
Jordan got things started offensively for the Regals, making two layups and then splitting a pair of free throws to score the first five points of the game. The Boxers would eventually use a 6-0 run to regain the lead and control the momentum.
After a decent start from CLU, a three-minute scoring drought would allow the hosts back into the game. Kamakani DeBlake finally ended the drought after drawing a foul and knocking down both free throws to tie the score at 10-10. Unfortunately, Cal Lutheran would go over five minutes without a field goal and would find themselves trailing by three points at the end of the first quarter.
Rodriguez would get the Regals on the board to start the second quarter as she hit back-to-back triples to propel her team back into the lead. Another three-pointer, this time from Mallory, would cap off an 8-0 run for CLU. Rodriguez started to catch fire from beyond the arc as she made her third three-pointer of the quarter to push the Cal Lutheran lead to 11 points.
The Regals had found their offensive rhythm, out-scoring Pacific 22-13 to take a 37-31 lead heading into halftime. The team's defense also held incredibly strong as they forced the Boxers to go just 2-12 from the field to end the half.
Tangeman opened the scoring in the third quarter after she was fouled while shooting a three and managed to net all three shots from the charity stripe to extend the lead to nine points. However, a quick 6-0 run from Pacific would then cut the lead to just three. Cal Lutheran were quick to reply as an 11-0 run paced by three baskets from Iwahashi and a three-ball from Natalie Ruhl allowed the Regals to get out to a 14-point lead, their largest of the game. Another great quarter from the Regals set them up with a 57-46 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes.
The hosts did not go away easily, starting the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to just four points. Tangeman finally ended the drought with a layup to get the Regals back on their feet. A driving layup and a step-back jumper from Iwahashi gave her team more breathing room as she pushed the lead to eight points.
The Boxers cut the lead to just two points after another 6-0 run gave the hosts a glimmer of hope, but a timely tip-in from Mallory gave her team a four-point cushion as well as a double-double for herself on the stat sheet. Mallory came through in the clutch with a deep three-pointer just under the two-minute mark and then it was Tangeman with the dagger, hitting a three from the corner to make it a six-point advantage with just 40 seconds to play.
Cal Lutheran and DiMuro look to continue their winning ways when they begin SCIAC play with a matchup at Whittier Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 77, PU 70
Release by Jeff Rebello, Assistant Sports Information Director