MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In the inaugural game of the 2018 Miami Exclusive Invitational, the Cal Lutheran Regals came up short in the Tuesday matinee against the Babson Beavers of Massachusetts 70-51. The Regals jumped out in the first half behind point-leaders sophomore Jessi Westering and freshman Cameron Mallory, but fell to a big fourth quarter rally by the Beavers.
Just one point short of a double-double, Westering led the morning with nine points and ten rebounds while just behind her, Mallory added eight points and four boards. Senior Kayla Watterson also went a perfect 3-3 in field goals, and junior Natalie Ruhl and sophomore Kailee Yan tallied six points apiece as well.
Down early 6-0, the Regals struggled to get the defensive boards, allowing Babson second chance shots and the early advantage. However, Westering got things going with an opening layup to put Cal Lutheran on the board. Babson would hold on the remainder of the first quarter, but the Regals clawed back to a one-point deficit 13-12 to end the period.
The Regals, however, turned their jets on in the second period, lighting up the court with back-to-back threes from Mallory to take the 18-13 lead with 8:26 left in the half. The offense continued to roll, Westering adding four more points to her total and leading the Regal to a 28-24 advantage at halftime.
Though Cal Lutheran opened with a big trey from Yan just 38 seconds into the third period, Babson battled back with a 10-point unanswered scoring run to tie things up at 34 apiece halfway through quarter. But again, another crucial three from junior Taylor Oshiro put the Regals back on top 37-34.
The toe-to-toe fight continued as the Beavers retook the lead with under two minutes to play in the third 43-39. Babson was led by a double-digit morning from Payton Ouimette and Emily Bonifacic who notched 17 and 13 points, respectively.
After exchanging threes at the end of the third quarter, the Regals entered the final ten minutes of the game down by just two possessions. But the bad news continued as Babson simply could not miss in the fourth quarter, pulling out a 22-9 scoring run in a late rally to take the game by a final score of 70-51.
The loss moves Cal Lutheran to 5-4 overall on the season. The Regals now look ahead to Thursday, December 20, when they take on the Thomas Moore Saints at 1 p.m. EST in their second game of the invitational.
Box Score: BAB 70, CLU 51
W Basketball Instagram: @regals_basketball
W Basketball Twitter: @CLUwBasketball
CLU Instagram: @clusports
CLU Twitter: @CLUSports
CLU Facebook: CLU Sports
Hashtags: #clusports #goregals #gokingsmen #ownthethrone #theSCIAC #ncaad3
Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director