Regals basketball secure win in home opener


Photo by Marcel Hurtubise - Reporter

The win against Antelope Valley was the Regals’ third consecutive season opening game victory.

Marcel Hurtubise, Reporter

Despite zero points in the first part of the first period, the California Lutheran University Regals basketball team began their season with an 82-81 win at home against the University of Antelope Valley Pioneers.

“All the hard work the girls have put in so far paid off tonight,” Head Coach Kelli DiMuro said. “Like their conditioning, just the chemistry tonight was amazing for us.”

Following a slow start to the game, junior small forward Grace Godines led the Regals to the end of the first period ahead 18-13.

Scoring continued back and forth in the second period before the Pioneers pulled ahead in the last minute, outscoring the Regals 33-28. The third period concluded 56-62 with the Regals slowly closing the gap, but falling behind again.

Although the Regals were behind 80-81 with seven seconds left on the clock, junior forward Naomi Gipson secured a one-point lead from a layup assisted by freshman point guard Janna Holley. Gipson’s layup proved to be the winning shot of the game, securing a comeback victory for the season’s home opener on Nov. 16.

“It was really exciting. A really great improvement from last game and it felt really good to work together as a team and just push ourselves,” Gipson said. “The energy from the bench and the players on the court was amazing.”

Both Gipson and Holley scored 17 points for the Regals throughout the game.

“Definitely scaring everyone. We were expected to lose, but we came out with the win,” Holley said. “Great first home game, I can say that. Definitely more people will come to the games.”

DiMuro said she’s proud of the improvement the Regals have made from last year.

“Our players are just better, they’re older, more mature and we got some good freshmen in that really propel us to play hard,” DiMuro said. “They were able to work together and I think they just have a better bond this year.”

Gipson said this team’s performance in this game instilled confidence in the players for the rest of their season.

“I think that it gives us confidence going into our league games and even the other games that we have before league,” Gipson said. “Now that we kind of set a high bar for ourselves I think it gives us something to look forward to.”

Gipson hopes to make waves in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“League is going down this year! We are not gonna have a losing record again,” Gipson said. “We have too much talent to let people walk all over us. Every game last year was really close and this year we’re gonna be able to pull through in the fourth quarter and beat them.”

DiMuro shared her players’ confidence.

“We’re ready for it. We’re ready to take on anybody in conference,” DiMuro said. “We’re excited to play together and be together and really try to have the best team possible.”

The Regals face Bethesda University at home on Thursday, Dec. 1, and play their first SCIAC match against Chapman on Saturday, Dec. 3.