|Cal Lutheran (3-3, 2-0 SCIAC)||21||18||14||8||61|
|Whittier (4-1, 1-1 SCIAC)||11||19||17||11||58|
(Whittier, Ca) The Cal Lutheran Regals defeated the Whittier Poets to sweep the both opponents on the week and open conference play 2-0. A tight game down the stretch, big threes from across the team and a crucial three from junior Natalie Ruhl with five seconds on the clock put the team on top 61-58.
Aided also by double-digit afternoons from sophomores Jozie Tangeman and Jessi Westering, the team took home the win behind a season second-best 41.2 percent from behind the three-point arc.
Cal Lutheran went 14-34 from three-point range, four coming from Rulh who finished the day 4-6 in threes and led the team with 12 points. Just behind her, Westering added 11 points of her own and Tangeman 10. Also aiding the offense, sophomores Kailee Yan and Jade Jordan added nine points and three treys each.
The Regals broke ahead in the first quarter 21-11, going 5-9 behind the arc (55.6%). Their first three field goals made were all threes from Jordan, Tangeman and Yan to jump out to the quick 9-4 lead before bursting the seams apart with a 15-7 scoring run to close the period.
Though Whittier gained a point back on their deficit, Cal Lutheran held on to an 18-point period to enter the second half with a nine-point lead. Freshman Haley Tyrell made her impact in the second quarter, shining with seven points and two assists.
The Poets decided to make things a little more interesting in the third, coming back from halftime with a 13-5 scoring run to make it a one-point game 44-43 with 2:47 left in the third. However, the Regals responded with three consecutive threes to close out the period and push their lead back to two possessions 53-47.
On the other hand, Whittier again started the fourth quarter with a scoring run, this time 11 unanswered points to take their only lead of the game 58-53 with 2:52 left to play. But those would be the last points of the games for the Poets as the Cal Lutheran defense made stop after stop while opening the lane for the offense.
Yan got things going with a big three with 2:24 on the lock followed by two free throws from Tangeman to even things up 58-58. Then with just five seconds on the clock, Ruhl hushed the entire Whittier crowd with the most important shot of the game, a three to give the team the final 61-58 lead and the win.
The win moves the team to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Regals return to Gilbert Arena on Wednesday, December 5, at 7 p.m. PST to take on the Chapman Panthers in the final game of the opening conference stretch.
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