THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran women’s basketball team revved up their defense Tuesday night, holding Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to 14 points in the second half as they cruised to a 60-35 victory in Gilbert Arena. The Regals held the Athenas without a basket for the first 11 minutes of the second half and allowed only nine points over the final eight minutes before the Athenas picked up two baskets in the waning moments.
Despite the outcome, the teams played evenly through the first 20 minutes.
Cal Lutheran slugged out to a 12-2 lead, holding Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to just a single basket over the first eight minutes to start the game.
The Regals would build their lead to as large 14 on the heels of Starla Wright’s 10-point first half performance. Wright’s jumper in the paint with 4:46 to go made the score 25-11 in favor of CLU.
However, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps would fight back, scoring the half’s final ten points to climb to within four at the break, 25-21.
After the break, Cal Lutheran would assert its will on both ends of the court, building a lead as large as 23 points after a pair of free-throws by Natalie Stone made it 48-25 midway through the second half. Defensively, the Regals limited CMS to just 5-22 shooting (22.7 percent) and outrebounded the Athenas 23-14.
Eventually, two free–throws by CMS guard Madeline Barnes would bring the lead back down to 21 but CLU would get free-throws from Pia Gudmundsen and two baskets from Sabrina Jimenez to gain their largest lead of the night at 27, leading 58-31 with under a minute to play.
Kyra Ray would hit a jumper for CMS to cut the lead to 25 and cap the scoring for the evening.
Cal Lutheran was led by Wright and Erica Whitley who both recorded double-doubles. Wright finished with a game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds. Whitley ended with 12 points and 10 boards while also finishing with five steals. Channing Fleischmann was third with six points and nine rebounds.
The SCIAC’s leader in assists, CLU point guard Alex Nelson, continued her strong play, finishing with a game-high seven assists.
Sarah King was the Athena’s lone scorer in double figures, ending the game with 10 points. Aria Krumwiede finished second on the team with eight points.
After the win, Cal Lutheran improves to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in the SCIAC. With the rest of the SCIAC teams idle this week, CLU moved into a tie for first place with Occidental heading into the weekend.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps loses their eighth consecutive game and falls to 1-8 and 0-4 in the SCIAC.
Cal Lutheran will be in action next this weekend when they take SCIAC foe Chapman on Saturday, December 15, at 5:00 p.m. in Orange, Calif.
Box Score: CLU 60 CMS 35