Regals Basketball are victorious against Occidental with a 80-72 win


Photo by Matthew Shaugabay-Reporter

The Regals line up at the free throw line ready to rebound and push the ball up the court.

Matthew Shaugabay, Reporter

On Wednesday Feb. 3, The California Lutheran University Regals basketball team took on the Occidental Tigers at the Gilbert Arena and came out on top with a hard-fought 80-72 win.

The Regals were off to an early lead, and it remained that way for the majority of the first quarter. Senior guard/forward Cameron Mallory hit back-to-back 3-point jump shots to cap off the quarter, and the Regals led the Tigers 17-11.

This early lead was followed by a back-and-forth second quarter in which the Tigers began to gain some momentum and put some pressure on the Regals. However, the Regals would still outscore the Tigers 22-21 in the second quarter, giving them a 39-32 lead at halftime.

Despite the Regals carrying the lead into the second half, the Tigers came out ready to play in the third quarter, outscoring the Regals 27-15. This gave them a 59-54 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and they were looking to carry their momentum into the last ten minutes and defeat the Regals for the second time this season.

However, after some clutch plays and a solid ten minutes of basketball, the Regals bounced back and came out with the win after doubling the Tigers score in the fourth quarter.

Head Coach Kelli DiMuro said that a change in defensive scheme and team comradery also played roles in the fourth quarter comeback for the Purple and Gold.

“We put them in a zone and that helped us change up the defensive scheme. And just sheer willpower really, and just team comradery, we’ve really been trying to work on that,” Coach DiMuro said.

Senior guard Mackenzy Iwahashi had a big night, going seven for ten from the field, three for five from three, a perfect seven for seven at the free throw line and finishing with 24 points. Along with a huge offensive performance, she also ran the Regals offense with four assists.

“I love it. I mean, that’s my first look. I want to look for my other teammates and get them the shots,” Iwahashi said when asked about being able to feed her teammates the ball.

Sophomore center Aliya DiMuro was another Regal that enjoyed a big night. DiMuro earned a double double, totaling 14 points and 10 rebounds, shooting seven for ten from the field and with eight of her rebounds being on the defensive side of the ball.

“That’s been one of our biggest things this season. Making sure that we get those boards and not giving them second-chance shots. Boxing out has become one of my priorities and I think that’s helped me a lot,” DiMuro said.

DiMuro also said that the bench played a huge part in her confidence which led to her scoring 14 points.

“I just knew that they couldn’t guard me and having the bench hype me up and telling me that they can’t guard me and knowing that if I can get position then I can score. That’s just huge for me,” DiMuro said.

Overall, the Regals shot 49.1% from the field, 35.7% from three, and 70.4% from the free throw line as well as limiting Occidental to only four second chance points.

The bench also played a big role in this one, providing 18 points as every Regal who stepped on the floor scored.

This win over Occidental improved the Regals record to 5-11 overall and 3-7 in conference.