THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The second day of the Posada Royale saw two wild games as Scranton escaped with a 50-46 come-from-behind victory over Emmanuel while Cal Lutheran gutted out a hard-fought 66-58 victory over UC Santa Cruz Monday afternoon in Gilbert Arena. Cal Lutheran went 2-0 in the tournament while UC Santa Cruz and Scranton finished 1-1. Emmanuel went 0-2.
Game 1: Scranton overcame a 13-point second half deficit and then held on for a wild 50-46 victory over Emmanuel Monday afternoon. The Lady Royals finally reclaimed the lead following three-pointers, from Noelle Alicea and Jaclyn Gantz, on consecutive possessions making the score 42-38.
However, that was just the start of the fireworks.
Emmanuel forward Fiona O’Dwyer would score six straight points on three consecutive possessions as the Saints reclaimed the lead.
Scranton would tie and then retake the lead a minute later after hitting a pair of free-throws, making the score 47-46.
With Scranton leading 48-46, the teams duked it out over the final minute an half before Emmanuel guard Jennifer Bujnowski stole the ball with 25 seconds and hit teammate Britini Mikulanecz for what looked like an easy go-ahead lay-up but the Saints couldn’t convert as she missed the shot and the ball went out of bounds.
On the following in-bounds pass there was a scrum for the ball with Mikulanecz coming up with it at the bottom of the pile. She quickly called timeout, unaware that the Saints were out of timeouts. The result was a technical foul and Scranton was awarded two free-throws and possession of the ball.
Christina Hiltunen hit both free-throws and the Lady Royals would run out the clock and escape with a 50-46 victory.
The Lady Royals were paced by Tayler Pallotta’s 11 points. Shernai Bentley had nine rebounds and seven steals. Fluehr chipped in with seven points and six assists.
Enmmanuel was led by O’Dwyer’s 21 points and eight rebounds. Liz Daley finished second with nine points while Bujnowski had 10 rebounds to go along with her six points.
O’Dwyer, and Fluehr were each named to the All-Tournament team.
With the win, Scranton improves to 10-3 overall while Emmanuel drops to 8-3.
Box Score: Scranton 50 Emmanuel 46
Game 2: Trailing 22-17 with seven minutes left in the first half, Starla Wright, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, scored six straight points for the Regals as they reclaimed the lead at 25-23 and would never look back.
The senior from Los Angeles, Calif. scored a game-high 21 points as CLU shot 56 percent from the field in the second half.
Despite Cal Lutheran’s hot shooting, UC Santa Cruz hung around for much of the second half. The Banana Slugs would get as close as three points at 59-56 when Geena Giovannetti nailed a lay-up on a fast break despite being fouled. She would go on to hit her free-throw with just over two minutes remaining the game.
Wright would come up big down the stretch, sinking a pair of free-throws on the following CLU possession. She would then ice the game by stealing the next UC Santa Cruz’s in-bounds pass and hitting a streaking Jazmyne Porter for a fast-break lay-up as CLU would go up 63-56.
The Regals would hold on in the final 30 seconds as they gutted out a 66-58 victory.
In addition to scoring 21 points, Wright also had a game-high six steals.
Porter was all over the stat sheet finishing with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Channing Fleischmann, who was also named to the All-Tournament Team, excelled on both ends of the court, holding Mackey six points below her average while also scoring 10 points herself.
Giovannetti, an All-Tournament selection, paced the Slugs with 12 points and four steals. Jean Dulay was the only other UC Santa Cruz player in double figures, finishing with 10.
With the win, Cal Lutheran improves to 10-2 overall while UC Santa Cruz drops to 10-4.
Cal Lutheran will be back in action next Saturday, January 5, when they host Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC)-leading Occidental at 5:00 p.m. in Gilbert Arena.
Box Score: CLU 66 UC Santa Cruz 58
POSADA ROYALE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Fiona O’Dwyer- Emmanuel
Lindsay Fluehr- Scranton
Sarah Mackey- UC Santa Cruz
Geena Giovannetti- UC Santa Cruz
Channing Fleischmann- Cal Lutheran
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Starla Wright- Cal Lutheran