Regals Get Over the Hump; Outlast Athenas at Home
First win against CMS since 2012-13 season
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – For the first time since the 2012-13 season and the first time during head coach Lindsay Goldblatt’s tenure at CLU, the Cal Lutheran women’s basketball team defeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with a 68-59 victory inside Gilbert Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Regals led for all but 44 seconds in the game and held off a furious comeback attempt by the Athenas to take over sole possession of first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings.
“We knew it was going to be a grind out type of game,” said Goldblatt. “We battled, and we have been working on a couple of things to finish games. We weathered their comeback and I thought we did a really good job as a group to finish it off.”
After the Athenas opened the scoring, Tatiana Dunlap knocked down a three-pointer to put the Regals on the board. From there, CLU extended its lead in the first quarter with back-to-back three-pointers from Jessica Salottolo and Janelle Porter. With a 17-14 lead and the clock ticking down, Sofia Cruz banked in a running three from way downtown at the buzzer to excite the crowd and give the Regals momentum.
In the second quarter, the Violet and Gold continued to stay hot from three-point land as Dunlap drained another one while Grace Derksen got into the action with a triple to cap a 13-2 run and give CLU a 30-16 lead. The Athenas made a small run to get within six but Haley Hodgson provided back-to-back layups down low to halt the rally.
The Regals led 36-28 at the break and opened the second half on an 8-2 run, highlighted by two three-pointers courtesy of Makenna Murray, to take a 14-point lead. CMS, however, closed out the quarter strong and began to chip away at the large lead.
Trailing by eight points entering the fourth quarter, 53-45, the Athenas went on a 12-6 run led by Aly Young and came within two points, 59-57 with 4:33 remaining.
Salottolo proved clutch down the stretch with three consecutive buckets and Hodgson put the game out of reach with a pair of free-throws in the final seconds.
Hodgson finished with a career-high 17 rebounds while adding a team-high 15 points for the double-double. Salottolo tallied 13 on the night while the trio of Dunlap, Cruz and Murray scored 10 apiece. Cruz led the way with six assists and Salottolo finished with four.
Young led CMS with a game-high 21 points off the bench while Kris Brackmann pitched in 15.
CLU outshot the Athenas 45.6 percent compared to 40.4 percent from the field and drained eight three-pointers as opposed to just two for CMS.
Cal Lutheran (10-6, 6-1 SCIAC) continues SCIAC action at home on Monday, Jan. 24 against Redlands (7-8, 4-2 SCIAC) at 7:00 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 68, CMS 59
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