LA VERNE, Calif. – Cameron Mallory's excellent three-point shooting display led Cal Lutheran to a 77-70 win over La Verne, Wednesday night in the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion. This marks the Regals' fourth-straight victory as they continue to chase a spot in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) postseason tournament.
Mallory matched her season-high with six threes in the contest. The sophomore led the Regals with 24 points on 8-12 shooting (6-8 3FG) while grabbing nine rebounds. Mackenzy Iwahashi delivered another consistent performance on both ends of the floor, pouring in 15 points and pulling down six rebounds from the guard position. Senior Natalie Ruhl was effective in her 20 minutes, racking up 12 points with seven rebounds on the night.
Cal Lutheran (10-12, 7-7 SCIAC) shot 44% (11-25) from three-point range and 41.3% from the field. The Leopards (13-8, 6-7 SCIAC) out-rebounded the Regals 56-43 with 25 offensive rebounds. The hosts were stifled by the CLU defense, however, only shooting 30.6% from the floor and 22.9% from beyond the arc.
After a scoring drought of almost two minutes to start the contest, Jozie Tangeman knocked down a three-pointer to open the scoring for the Regals. CLU would struggle with the Leopards' press in the first quarter as they committed four turnovers in the first four minutes of the game. Ruhl managed to get her team back on track, hitting a three from well beyond the arc to give the Regals a 12-10 lead at the halfway point in the quarter. It would be La Verne, however, who regained the lead to end the first period after making a pair of triples in the final minute, taking a 16-12 advantage.
Taylor Oshiro made her presence felt on the offensive end in the second quarter, scoring on consecutive possessions to tie the score. Cal Lutheran allowed 16 offensive rebounds in the first half but still jumped out to a 35-29 lead going into the break after Mallory stroked two three-pointers in the final minute of the half.
The teams would trade baskets to start the third quarter before Mallory found the bottom of the net on yet another three-pointer to extend the lead to eight points just over the six-minute mark. The sophomore continued her hot shooting with her fifth three-ball of the night, making it a 14-point lead for the Regals. Despite the offensive surge from CLU, the hosts would mount a 9-0 run to cut the lead to five points (51-45) heading into the final 10 minutes.
La Verne picked up where they left off, continuing to pressure and crash the offensive boards to cut the deficit. Karly Beyers stopped the bleeding by hitting a much-needed three-pointer to momentarily keep the Leopards at bay. Ruhl finished off a three-point play after making a layup despite some contact, giving the Regals some more breathing room.
With just over three minutes to play, Mallory stepped up and made her sixth three-pointer of the night as she helped propel Cal Lutheran to the finish line in the dying minutes. Cal Lutheran finished the game with conviction, making free throws down the stretch to avenge their earlier loss to La Verne with a 77-70 victory on the road.
The Regals will look to make it five straight wins Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. when they travel to Claremont, Calif. to face Pomona-Pitzer.
Box Score: CLU 77, LV 70
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Release by Jeff Rebello, Assistant Sports Information Director