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The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Regals basketball wins conference opener against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Abbey Saucedo
Head Women’s Basketball Coach Kelli DiMuro said how the Regals played the last play against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas was better than she has ever seen.

California Lutheran University’s Regals basketball team claimed victory over the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas with a score of 72-69 on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in the team’s first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game of the season. 

“I think we came out with fire in us. We realized it was go-time,” senior center Aliya DiMuro said. “We decided we were gonna win that game, and we did.”

A. DiMuro said the team came back to win following a timeout in the fourth period, in which Head Women’s Basketball Coach Kelli DiMuro said the Athenas “didn’t fear them enough.”

The Regals and the Athenas racked up a total of 16 points each in the first period. However, Cal Lutheran stepped up in the second half to distance themselves from the visitors and lead 40-32 at the half. 

The Athenas responded in the third period, scoring 23 points against the Regals’ 14 to lead 55-54. In the final period, the Regals were able to regain their lead and secure the win with a final score of 72-69.

“How we played the last play was better than I’ve ever seen,” K. DiMuro said.

According to, junior point guard Sara Mills led the team with 20 points, followed by first-year shooting guard Kaiya Mack, who had 15 points. A. DiMuro also recorded a double-double, picking up 14 rebounds and scoring 14 points during the game.

Mack and DiMuro both said communication, eye contact and trust helped the Regals secure the win, especially when needing to shift from offensive to defensive play quickly.

“The most important thing is communication, especially the trust we have in the team,” Mack said. “I know I can rely on my teammates when making that quick change, going from offense to defense.”

The game was a physical start to conference play, with double-digit foul totals from each team. A total of 24 personal fouls were called against the Athenas, in addition to a technical foul against the team’s coach. 17 personal fouls were called against the Regals, but K. DiMuro said the Regals handled the tension well and remained level-headed under the pressure.

“I want them to stay loose and I want them to have fun,” K. DiMuro said. “I try to look them in the eyes, tell them they’re doing a good job, and give them confidence.”

Mills said the team has remained intentional in the level of tenacity they bring to practice, which yields a psychological upper hand when it comes to playing intense games.

“We’re coming to every practice with intensity and hustle so that when we play them in the games, it’s easier than when we’ve been practicing,” Mills said.

Mills said the team has been practicing boxing out, which is blocking the opposition from being able to pick up rebounds, and said that practice paid off in the game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

K. DiMuro said the team intends to continue polishing defensive skills in practice and plans to continue building team chemistry. Following a loss in last year’s SCIAC semifinals game against La Verne, K. DiMuro said the team hopes to bring home a SCIAC Championship this season.

“We want to win SCIAC, that’s our goal,” K. DiMuro said. “We get closer and closer, but we never take any team for granted at all.”

The Regals made it two wins from two to in SCIAC on Saturday, Dec. 2 as they beat the Redlands Bulldogs with a score of 66-57. Their next conference game is on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 against Occidental. 

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