Cal Lutheran Controls Momentum in First Conference Win
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Each team seeking its first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) victory of the season, Cal Lutheran hosted the Beavers from Caltech tonight inside Gilbert Arena. It was the Kingsmen who walked away victorious, winning 64-42 after opening a 39-20 halftime lead.
Box Score: CLU 64, CIT 42 - F
When Collin Knudsen converted back-to-back fast-break lay-ups for the Kingsmen at the 9:55 and 9:32 marks of the first half CLU broke a 10-10 tie. Knudsen sparked an 8-0 run in which he was solely responsible for six points.
Ultimately, that was the turning point in the game as CLU maintained the momentum and closed out the period on an 11-0 run. The home squad took a comfortable 39-20 lead into the locker room.
Ten first half Caltech fouls sent the Kingsmen to the charity stripe 13 times and they knocked down 11 with Knudsen leading the attack going 6-for-6.
In the second stanza CLU led by as much as 21 points on two occasions behind buckets from senior John Wilson and freshman Mike Harris at the 19:25 and 17:45 marks, respectively.
Caltech would chip away and get back within nine at 47-38 on a pair of free-throws from Michael Edwards, but a CLU timeout at 7:22 allowed the Kingsmen to refocus. Cal Lutheran quickly netted eight unanswered points and regained, and maintained, a double figure lead throughout the remainder of regulation.
Fourteen different Kingsmen got out on the court tonight with eight scoring.
Aaron Van Klaveren was clutch for CLU tonight as he nearly had a first half double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. He finished with game highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds and was perfect from the floor at 6-for-6, adding a 4-for-5 performance at the line despite being in foul trouble for much of the night.
Harris, Wilson and Xavier Walton each handed out three assists in the win.
Cal Lutheran shot at a 42 percent clip overall. Joining Van Klaveren in double figures was Knudsen who tallied 13 points, going 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. With .3 seconds left Andrew Atakpo knocked down a pair of free-throws to close the night out.
Defensively for CLU Henry Leff and Ryan Burris each recorded a pair of blocks and Leff came down with five boards. Harris finished with seven rebounds. Knudsen also came up with a trio of steals.
Leading Caltech was Collin Murphy who poured in 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field in just 15 minutes of action. Ethan Boroson had a team high six rebounds.
Twelve of the 20 CIT first half points came via three-point shots, but CLU's defense did not allow another long ball in the final half of play. Caltech shot 30.8 percent from the field tonight.
Cal Lutheran (5-9, 1-3 SCIAC) will be back in Gilbert Arena on Saturday evening, Jan. 21, when they host Occidental (7-8, 2-2 SCIAC) at 7 p.m.