THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – After taking a 17-point lead at the break in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opener, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen basketball team cruised to a 71-51 victory to even their season record and being league play with a bang.
When Martin Flowers hit the second of two free-throw at the 12:40 mark in the opening stanza he not only sparked a 12-4 run, but also put the Kingsmen on top for the final time of the evening as CLU never trailed for the remaining 27 minutes.
The offense was spread out with nine players scoring as the Kingsmen shot 53.3 percent from the floor tonight as a whole. Michael Palmer paced all players with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Four of those points came on back-to-back possessions mid-way through the half on fast break layups. Jayvaughn Nettles was credited with both assists as he finished with six. Teammate Steven Davis handed out a game-high 10 assists, also coming away with five steals, the most of any player on the court this evening. Nettles also finished with nine points.
Freshman Corey Quintana made an impact in his first SCIAC game, scoring nine first half points with his jumper at 2:49 giving the Violet and Gold their largest lead of the opening frame. He also gave CLU its biggest advantage of the game when he hit two free-throws at 5:09 in the second half to finish with 13.
After halftime things got physical as Caltech was called for six fouls in under two minutes. A seventh put the Kingsmen in bonus early giving the home squad ample opportunities to add to their lead. CLU, however, continued to struggle at the free-throw line, going just 17-for-29 and finishing 62.2 percent from the line as a unit in the contest. Lanaki Apele came off the bench in the final minutes of the game and went to the line, converting both of his chances for a pair of points.
CLU came down with 31 rebounds and Caltech finished with 29. Nettles led the Kingsmen with six while Davis and Jeremy Sulker-Hall tallied five apiece. Three different players recorded a block for Cal Lutheran with Palmer, Collin Knudsen and Guy Lynott each getting one.
Collin Murphy led all players with 10 rebounds for the Beavers. Michael Edwards finished with a team-leading 12 points as he closes in on the Caltech career record.
Cal Lutheran (3-3, 1-0 SCIAC) will travel to Pomona-Pitzer (4-2, 1-1) on Wednesday, Dec. 5 to take on the Sagehens at 7:30 p.m.