THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – With heavy hearts due to the tragic murder of former assistant women’s basketball coach Monica Quan earlier this week, the Cal Lutheran Regals returned to the court tonight. It was a colorful victory as CLU players donned red ribbons on their shooting jerseys to honor Quan on a night when pink was also abundant in conglomeration with Play for Kay as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Cal Lutheran exited the Gilbert Arena with a 61-36 victory to extend their win streak to five.
Though it was a slow start, the Regals pulled away from the Sagehens in the final 6:27 of the opening half and never looked back.
Alex Nelson knocked down a three pointer to break a 16-16 tie, sparking a 10-2 run as CLU took over the momentum on the court. Keeley Anderson came off the bench to score four of those points on a three-pointer and a free-throw. Senior forward Starla Wright was 3-for-4 at the charity stripe to close out the run. Jazmyne Porter would then force one of her game-high four steals with 39 seconds to play in the stanza and finished the play with a fast-break layup as the teams headed to the locker rooms.
After the break, CLU held Pomona-Pitzer to a shooting percentage of 21.4 and just 17 points while hitting 46.2 percent of their shots from the floor to cruise to the win. CLU outscored PP 33-17 and held the Sagehens to single digits for more than 14 minutes in the second half. The largest gap of the night was 28 points, which came on a Pia Gudmundsen layup on another Porter steal and assist on the fast-break.
Channing Fleischman scored just two first half points, but came back hot in the second with 14 to finish with a game-high 16 on 6-for-10 shooting as the only player to break into double figures. She hit 4-for-5 three-point attempts tonight for the Violet and Gold while grabbing three rebounds and coming away with a steal.
Both Wright and Porter finished with eight points and Rachel Heagy poured in seven. Nelson and Erica Whitley each scored six points and shared the lead for assists tonight with five apiece.
Defensively, Wright grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds with four on the offensive end of the court and added a block and a steal. Anderson and Heagy each came down with five. Whitley was a defensive threat as well, coming up with a trio of steals and recording a block. Nelson and Heagy were the other two Regals to record a block against the Sagehens.
With the victory, the 2012-13 squad becomes just the third team in Regals basketball history to record 20 wins in a season.
Cal Lutheran (20-3, 12-2 SCIAC) has two more league games remaining in the regular season. Thursday, Feb. 14 the Regals return to the Gilbert Arena to host Redlands (17-6, 10-4) at 7:30 p.m. on senior night. Earlier this season UR defeated CLU 61-53.