California Lutheran Uses Strong First Half to Defeat Bearcats, 62-46

DeLong Scores 10 Points for Willamette, Westermann Grabs 11 Rebounds

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

THOUSAND OAKS, CALIF. -- California Lutheran University played a stellar first half on its way to a 62-46 victory over visiting Willamette University on Sunday, Dec. 18 at Gilbert Arena. The Regals owned a 36-16 lead at the break, after holding Willamette to 18.8% shooting (6 of 32), including 0 for 11 on 3-pointers, over the first 20 minutes.

The Regals improved to 3-4 on the season. Willamette fell to 1-8.

California Lutheran led by five points, 16-11, with seven minutes left in the first half, but hit 4 of 5 three-pointers during the next five minutes to pull away. The four successful 3-pointers were part of a 20-5 run by the Regals to end the half. 

During the second half, Willamette improved to 33.3% field goal accuracy (11 of 33), including 2 of 5 on three-pointers. The Bearcats limited the Regals to 23.5% shooting (8 of 34) over the final 20 minutes, but couldn't overcome the large halftime deficit.

WU scored eight points in a row to pull within 40-29 with 13:36 remaining.

The offensive surge by the Bearcats started with two free throws by Dora Rabih (Sr., F, Denver, CO/John F. Kennedy HS/Arizona Western Coll.). It also included jumpers by Alexa Beeson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) and Katelyn Nordlien (Fr., Wing, Salem, OR/Norht Salem HS) and a layup by Katie Kalugin (Fr., Wing, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS).

CLU answered with a 9-0 run to regain control. The run included 5-for-6 free throw shooting by the Regals.

Jojo DeLong (Fr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) led Willamette in scoring with 10 points, while Kaileigh Westermann (Sr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) paced the Bearcats in rebounding with 11 boards. Nordlien added 10 rebounds.

DeLong also contributed five rebounds, two assists and one steal for the Bearcats. Rabih finished with six points, four rebounds and three assists, while Rebecca Josephson (So., Wing, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Camp HS) earned six points, four steals and two blocked shots. Nordlien supplemented her 10 rebounds with five points and two assists.

Cameron Jones topped California Lutheran with 13 points and a 13 rebounds. Channing Fleischmann provided the Regals with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jazmyne Porter scored nine points and led all players with five blocked shots.

California Lutheran shot 32.8% for the game (22 of 67), while Willamette connected on 17 of 65 shots (26.2%). CLU converted 12 of 15 free throws (80.0%) and Willamette was 10 for 18 (55.6%) at the line.

The Regals gained a 50-48 rebounding edge, although both teams excelled on the offensive glass. WU achieved 22 offensive rebounds, while California Lutheran hauled down 20.

Willamette will play the second game of its three-game road trip on Monday, Dec. 19 at Occidental College in Los Angeles, Calif. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

California Lutheran University 62
Willamette University 46
Kaileigh Westermann led Willamette with 11 rebounds.

Kaileigh Westermann led Willamette with 11 rebounds.