SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Five Cal Lutheran Kingsmen scored double-digits as men's basketball took down the Linfield Wildcats, 85-81, Saturday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
It was the first win of the season for the Kingsmen (1-1). Cal Lutheran also gave Linfield its first loss of the season as the Wildcats dropped to 3-1.
Austin Cole led the Kingsmen with 24 points. He shot an impressive 8-of-15 from the field and was also 8-of-9 from the free throw line. He filled the rest of his stat line with eight rebounds, two blocks and one each for an assist and steal.
Kyle Ferreira was next with 19 points. He also led the team with nine rebounds and dished out four assists. He was 7-of-15 from the field and made three three-pointers.
Jared Wulbrun was efficient in his second game with the Kingsmen. He scored 15 points, all coming off three-pointers. He connected on five of his seven.
Palmer Chaplin and Michael Wadsworth rounded out the double-digits scorers with 11 and 10, respectively. They both facilitated the ball well and each had eight assists which tied for the game-high. Chaplin added four rebounds and two steals while Wadsworth had three rebounds.
As a team, Cal Lutheran shot over 50-percent from the field (30-of-57) and over 40-percent behind the three-point arc (10-of-23). The Kingsmen also out-rebounded the Wildcats 39 to 31.
CLU jumped out to the early lead and was up 11-4 after a Ferreira three-pointer. The Wildcats fought back and took their first lead, 17-15, with 13 minutes left in the half. Linfield pushed its lead to as much as five in the middle of the first half. The Kingsmen then responded and tied up the scored at 23 with 9:05 remaining after two free throws from Wadsworth.
Both teams continued to answer each other as the Kingsmen and Wildcats kept going back and forth, exchanging baskets and the lead. CLU finally put some distance between them and the Wildcats. A jump shot from Wadsworth and two free throws from Chaplin had Cal Lutheran up 40-29. CLU had a 10-point lead at the half, 42-32, as Wadsworth made a layup with four seconds remaining.
Linfield slowly chipped away at the lead during the first 10 minutes of the second half. With 8:46 left, it was only a two-point game as CLU still led 63-61. Every time the Wildcats would get close, the Kingsmen would open back up the lead. With CLU up 67-64, the Kingsmen scored five straight pushed the lead to eight. Cole made a layup and Wulbrun hit a three.
The Wildcats then had their first lead of the second half and were up 77-76. Cole put CLU back on top as he made an and-one. He was able to convert a tough layup and then drilled the free throw. Two more free throws on the next possession from Cole had the Kingsmen up 81-77. Linfield wouldn't go away and eventually tied the score at 81 with 34 seconds left.
The Kingsmen took the shot clock all the way down as they looked for a good shot. Ferreira took the shot with 11 seconds left, made it, and CLU was up 83-81. After a missed three from the Wildcats, Cole secured the rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws and put the game out of reach as the Kingsmen won 85-81.
Cal Lutheran continues the season on the road. The Kingsmen will be in Oregon on Tuesday and take on George Fox at 7 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 85, LIN 81
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Release byRyan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director