Kingsmen basketball lose season opener to Illinois Tech


Photo by Ysabella Gonzalez - Reporter

The Kingsmen basketball team faces against Puget Sound on Friday, Nov. 18 in hopes of getting their first season win.

Ysabella Gonzalez, Reporter

California Lutheran University’s Kingsmen basketball fell to Illinois Tech 89-98 in their opening game of the season. 

The Kingsmen started off on the right foot, opening their season with junior Devon Lewis and senior Logan McCullough scoring three 3-pointers. However, the Hawks began to recover early.

“We need to be able to guard one-on-one, guarding the ball much better than we did today,” junior point guard Stephen Davis said. 

Both teams traded shots back and forth, and the points did little to separate the two. Cal Lutheran’s offense continued to attack in the first half, as the Kingsmen made a total of five 3-point jump shots, three layups, seven 2-point jump shots, two steals and four offensive rebounds. 

While the Kingsmen had 12 defensive rebounds, it was not enough to keep Illinois Tech out as the first half ended with the Hawks leading 41-38. 

“We didn’t defend, it’s that simple,” Head Coach Russel White said. “We got to work on that a lot.”

White remained optimistic despite the defeat and said that it was still early in the season so there is still time to work on things.   

“We’ll go light day, play a really good team on Saturday and then take it from there. It’s the first game of the year, we got to learn from it,” White said.

Despite the Kingsmen going up 8-2 early on, Davis felt that they did not get off to the best start. 

“We started off the game a little slow, got into our rhythm, we felt pretty confident. Offensively, we were scoring the ball pretty well. Defensively, we know that we have some things to pick up on,” Davis said. 

Claiming victory in the exhibition game earlier that week, the Kingsmen returned in the second half hoping to turn the game around and record a second-consecutive win at home. The charge was led by junior Tommy Griffitts as he scored a layup to bring Cal Lutheran within one point of the Hawks early in the second half. The Kingsmen’s offense continued strong as they made three 3-point jump shots, five 2-point jump shots, six layups, four steals and 10 offensive rebounds. 

The Kingsmen’s defense continued to resist as they made eight defensive rebounds and one block, but the Hawks’ offense proved too strong as they claimed the victory. 

“Tough first game, we got to shake off some rust, but the good thing is we have 24 more of them,” McCullough said. 

The Kingsmen plan on bouncing back from this game, as the coach said that this game will not be a reflection of the season to come.  

“I think we’ll be fine, we just have a couple little things to fix up and then, once we do, we’ll be a really good team,” Davis said. 

Cal Lutheran’s next home game will be against La Verne on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m.