The California Lutheran University Regals Basketball team held their first matchup in over a year Saturday, March 27 against the University of Redlands Bulldogs. They claimed their first win of the season, beating the Bulldogs 73-61.
The Regals shot 45.0% from the field and only committed 10 turnovers in comparison to the Bulldogs’ 21, resulting in 21 points just from turnovers.
This was the first time the team was able to play since the end of their 2019-2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then they have brought on five new recruits, two of which made their debut starting for the Regals last night.
First-years Alyssa Maxey and Aliya DiMuro started for the Regals and brought the heat Saturday afternoon. Maxey shot 80% from the field and 50% from the 3-point line, racking up 13 points. DiMuro tallied up 21 points, shooting 62.5% from the field, and was 1 rebound shy of a double-double.
“It was very nerve-racking and there was just a lot of anxiety leading up to it,” Maxey said. “As soon as we started playing, everything just went away and I felt more comfortable.”
First-years Izzy Flores and Grace Godines also got out on the court for the first time as Regals. Godines contributed on the offensive end, with 7 points going a perfect 3 for 3 at the free-throw line. Flores contributed on the defensive end of the floor, racking up 3 steals.
Flores said she “was nervous at first, but the chemistry of [the] team” made her first game as a Regal easy and fun.
“It was exciting, it was very nerve-racking at the beginning but once we got in and started playing, we got the hang of it,” Godines said.
Naomi Gipson, the fifth and final freshman recruit the Regals brought onto the team, was not able to make her freshman debut and was sidelined due to a torn ACL that she has been rehabilitating since the end of her senior year at Westview High School.
Despite being sidelined her first season with the Regals, Gipson said she’s been able to still participate, even off the court.
“It was fun because the energy was really high and I got to lead some of the chants. As long as everyone is participating, and everyone is, it’s great to sit and support everyone on the team,” Gipson said.
The Regals are set to play their second of six games this season against La Sierra on Tuesday, March 30, at 6:30 p.m. in Gilbert Arena. The game will be broadcasted live on the CLU Sports livestream.