LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Cal Lutheran took down the Occidental in their home arena 80-55 to extend their win-streak to three games, Saturday night inside Rush Gym.
The Regals came out ready to play from the tip as they went up by five points early in the first quarter. Despite trading baskets with the Tigers throughout the first half, CLU found the momentum in the second half to push into the lead. Having an advantage for most of the fourth quarter, Cal Lutheran comfortably beat Occidental by 25 points. With about six minutes left, they extended their lead to 19, with 26 points being their largest lead of the night.
Cameron Mallory, scoring 20 points, was a force from the three-point line as nine of her points came from beyond the arc. Mallory also had two steals before the first minute of the game was played, which would contribute to the strong defensive team effort. With 2:50 left before halftime, Head Coach Kelli DiMuro, implemented the full-court press, causing the Tigers to get frazzled in their offensive possessions. Following this defensive pressure, the Regals went up by eight points with only 1:30 to go before halftime. With a key steal from Haley Tyrell, who contributed 15 points and nine rebounds, Cal Lutheran closed the half on a 10-2 run.
Offensive transition was highlighted by the Regals tonight as they realized they were quicker than their opponents. With this, and several offensive fouls against the Tigers, the Regals found the confidence to take this game into their own hands. What seemed like a slow second quarter in which the Regals struggled to put the ball in the hoop at times, quickly shifted in the second half of play.
On the defensive side, Jade Jordan and Ruhl each grabbed eight rebounds. Occidental out-rebounded Cal Lutheran 52-50, but the Purple and Gold's offensive dominance was more than enough to put them on top of this conference matchup.
Opening the half with five quick points, a three from Mallory and a layup from Tyrell, Cal Lutheran extended their eight-point lead to 13 very quickly. However, the Tigers cut the Regals lead down to eight points with just over two minutes left before the final quarter. Occidental knocked down a triple right as the third quarter wound down to stay within seven points in last 10 minutes of play, made it seem like the game could be up for grabs.
CLU thought differently as they came out very strong in the fourth quarter. Building their lead, the Purple and Gold finished this Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) contest with a convincing score line of 80-55.
The Regals will now look ahead to Wednesday's game as they travel to La Verne at 7 p.m., Cal Lutheran will try to extend their win streak to four and keep their postseason tournament hopes alive.
Box Score: CLU 80, OXY 55
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Release by Mara Powner, Sports Information Assistant