Regals Top Sagehens in 18-point Win

The California Lutheran University women’s basketball team faced Pomona-Pitzer for the second time this season Feb. 4 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play and blew past the Sagehens 74-51.

In a game that was more than basketball, the Regals dedicated the game to Tyler Bacon, husband of Cal Lutheran women’s basketball alum Haley Bacon. A Leukemia awareness night was put together with booths for blood donation and bone marrow matches. Tyler Bacon, who is currently battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia, was honored by the Regals when the team wore pregame shirts that featured the hash-tag “tylerstrong”.

The Regals came out with an slow start, which the Sagehens capitalized on with an early three-point lead with 5:41 left in the first quarter. The lead didn’t last long once senior guard Jessica Salottolo with the team-high of 18 points found her shot and junior forward Tatiana Dunlap, who was 5-5 from the field and 3-3 from beyond the arc, added 13 points, four assists and three rebounds giving the Regals the spark they needed.

“I just focused on being aggressive today. I know a lot of people in this league know I can shoot so it’s harder for me to get shots up on the outside so I just attack more and my teammates found me the ball,” Salottolo said.

With great ball distribution and strong defensive stops, the Regals jumped back into the game and took over the lead and went into halftime with a 10-point cushion and a score of 33-23. The Regals shot 48 percent from the field to end the half.

Draining shots: Sophomore Grace Derksen dribbles the ball down center court earlier in the first half of Cal Lutheran’s win against Pomona-Pitzer. Photo by-- P.K. Duncan Staff Photographer
Draining shots: Sophomore Grace Derksen dribbles the ball down center court earlier in the first half of Cal Lutheran’s win against Pomona-Pitzer.
Photo by– P.K. Duncan Staff Photographer

“We had pretty quality possessions and I think that helped us, a couple break downs early defensively caused our loll but after that I thought we did a really good job with our high quality offensive possessions and we started to get some stops,” Head Coach Lindsay Goldblatt said.

The Regals came out aggressively to start the third quarter, shooting 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from three-point range. The Sagehens couldn’t keep up, shooting just 40 percent from the field and 25 percent from the three-point range.

With heavy ball distribution the Regals were able to keep the Sagehens on their toes and extended their lead to 15 points to end the third quarter with the score 51-36.

“We had 22 assists today, with that we shared the ball really well and it got us quality shot attempts and good looks within our offense, just the way we moved the ball and shared the ball, we were able to make smart choices,” Goldblatt said.

Late in the fourth quarter an and-one by senior guard Janelle Porter sealed the deal for the Regals. They put it on the Sagehens with their aggressiveness and ran away with the game over the last few minutes, handing the Sagehens their 18th loss of the season with a score of 74-51.

“I think we did really well tonight, we played as a team, made the extra pass, we were on the boards, we were really aggressive and once we all come together it turns into a good game,” Dunlap said.

The Regals scored 23 points in the fourth quarter and ended the game shooting 51.8 percent from the field, 52.4 percent from three-point range and scoring 26 points in the paint alone.

“I’m very satisfied, I’m happy with the effort, I’m happy with the execution and I thought we played really well especially on a day where we get to come out and support a fellow alum and her family in our leukemia awareness game today,” Goldblatt said.

The Regals will welcome Occidental to the Gilbert Arena in their next game Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.

Maryssa Rillo

Staff Writer