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California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

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Regals Basketball Snaps 2-Game Losing Streak vs Redlands

First-year+center+Alline+Ballard+hitting+a+layup.
Izzy de Souza
First-year center Alline Ballard hitting a layup.

California Lutheran University women’s basketball triumphed over the Redlands Bulldogs in a 67-50 win during last Saturday’s game. The Regals are tied with the University of LaVerne for second place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, with a conference record of 9-3, and an overall record of 14-6.

The Regals had a strong opening, with first-year center Alline Ballard striking first. Ballard ultimately led the game in points, earning a total of 21.

โ€œWe needed to set the tone right away that we were going to rebound, and we were going to stop them,โ€ Head Coach Kelli DiMuro said.ย 

As the first period went on, the Bulldogs briefly held the lead until the Regals regained momentum and closed out the period with a 20-16 point lead over the Bulldogs.

The Regals were able to lock down eight points in the second period before allowing any points from the Bulldogs and continued to hold a tight lead of 35-30 going into halftime.

DiMuro said her focus moving into the second half was for the Regals to amp up their pressure.

โ€œWe have to dig deep. We have to fight, weโ€™re tired, weโ€™re worn out, but we have three weeks left in the season,” DiMuro said. “My biggest thing is, no regretsโ€ฆ you donโ€™t want to have regrets and not give it 100% every single possession.โ€

The Regals kept their 5-point lead for the majority of the third period. Nearing the end of the period, the Bulldogs gained momentum and forced the 5-point Regal lead to a 2-point Bulldog lead going into the fourth period.ย 

โ€œThe third quarter is the most important quarter, the better team comes out in the third quarter after adjustments, and we had to play like we were down,โ€ Assistant Coach Melissa Sanchez said.

Although the Bulldogs outscored the Regals 17-10, the Regals were able to bounce back quickly in the fourth period.

From 4:14 to 0:41, junior point guard Sara Mills knocked down 10 unanswered points, giving the Regals one of their largest leads of the night. The Regals outscored the Bulldogs 22-3 in the fourth period, according to CLU Sports.

โ€œWe knew this game would be critical to win, so weโ€™ve been focusing on being tough and making sure we make all the plays that count,โ€ Mills said.

Sanchez said Mills showed her leadership in the fourth quarter.

The Regals were the first to score in all four periods, with Ballard scoring first in the first, second, and third periods.

โ€œIโ€™ve heard from all the upperclassmen that weโ€™ve gotten closer [in comparison to previous years]. This is the closest our team has ever been,โ€ Ballard said. โ€œWe talk things through, we have commitments that we all stay together on, and we call ourselves a family. No matter what goes on, we stay together no matter what. We donโ€™t turn our backs on each other.โ€

DiMuro said she was extremely proud of her teamโ€™s performance after coming back from two losses the previous week, and both DiMuro and Sanchez credit this teamโ€™s success to their chemistry, togetherness, joy and character.ย 

โ€œWe have that chemistry and that togetherness. We call it the sisterhood,โ€ DiMuro said. โ€œEveryone has bought in, and we are playing really great basketball together.โ€

Both coaches said the race for first is tight, and the game outcomes going forward will be determined by the teams and players who want it more, and who can make the winning plays.ย 

โ€œThey play for something bigger than themselves, and thatโ€™s each other,โ€ Sanchez said.

The Regals hold second-place standing with La Verne in the SCIAC with four regular season games left to play. The Regals will face the Occidental Tigers, currently the #1 ranked team in the SCIAC, at home this coming Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

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