(Thousand Oaks, Ca) It is a happy new year for the California Lutheran University men’s basketball team.
Three Kingsmen scored double-digits as Cal Lutheran opened the new year with an 80-56 win over the Caltech Beavers Wednesday night. The Kingsmen improved to 1-1 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play.
Seniors Austin Cole and Kyle Ferreira led the Violet and Gold with 22 and 20 points, respectively. It was the sixth time this season Ferreira has scored 20-plus points. It was the fourth such game for Cole.
Both showed all-around games. Cole was 9-10 from the free throw line and had five rebounds, two steals and two assists. Ferreira added seven rebounds and a game-high six assists.
Freshman Tyler Brabant was the third Kingsmen to score double-digits. He was one-point shy of his season-high and put up 12. He hit two three-pointers and was 4-4 from the free throw line.
Junior Palmer Chaplin was next with nine points and just narrowly missed a double-double as he recorded a career-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore Jarrett Powers came off the bench and had a game-high three steals.
Cal Lutheran controlled the game by taking care of the ball. The Kingsmen had a season-low five turnovers. This is the first game this year that they have turned the ball over less than 10 times. On the other hand, CLU forced Caltech into 12 turnovers and scored 21 points off those turnovers. The Violet and Gold were also 83-percent from the free throw line as they went 20-24 from the charity stripe.
At the start of the game, it took the Kingsmen a little bit to wake up as the Beavers jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead. Caltech then had its biggest lead of the game and were up 16-5 with 13:28 left in the first half. Cal Lutheran fought back and eventually tied up the game at 22 with 6:44 left. The Kingsmen then took their first lead as Ferreira nailed a three-pointer on the ensuing possession. CLU built up its biggest lead of the first half in the final minutes, 34-26, but the Beavers answered that with a 6-0 run. The Kingsmen went into the half up 34-32.
The second half was all about the Kingsmen as they made their presence known on the court. Brabant made it 44-36 after a three. A few plays later, Cole hit a three and CLU was up 53-40 with 12:32 left in the game. Over the next stretch, Powers, sophomore Cole Thomas and senior Michael Wadsworth all came up with clutch baskets to add to the lead. The Violet and Gold had a commanding lead at 61-47 with 8:21 left. The Kingsmen kept adding to the lead as they got their first conference win of the season with a final score of 80-56.
Cal Lutheran continues the season with SCIAC play. The Kingsmen welcome the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens to Gilbert Arena on Monday at 7 p.m.
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