Regals Fall to Bruins in NCAA Tourney Opener
NEWBERG, Ore. – Cal Lutheran fell 58-35 to No. 3 George Fox in its opening round game of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night. The Regals trailed by three early in the second half before turnover troubles aided a lengthy Bruins scoring run.
The host Bruins scored five early points energizing the packed Miller Gymnasium crowd. The Regals used full court pressure and solid interior defense while chipping away at the Bruins lead.
No player on the George Fox roster scored more than five first half points, and a combination of interior defensive efforts from Rachel Heagy and Shana Moore held Bruins center Hannah Munger to just a single point.
Cal Lutheran held George Fox to just 20 first half points, and after Erica Whitley scored the final five of the period the Regals trailed by only five at the half. CLU scored the opening basket of the second half to pull within three, but the Regals came no closer following a lengthy Bruins scoring run.
George Fox scored the next 12 points and went on an 18-3 scoring run to open the period. The Bruins ability to force turnovers and convert via fast break opportunities or free throws proved to be Cal Lutheran’s demise. In total the Bruins cashed in 22 points on 27 Regals miscues.
After knocking down just 5-of-24 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws in the first half, the Bruins went 9-of-20 from the field and 19-for-26 at the charity stripe in the second. Keisha Gordon and Munger were the prime recipients earning 16 combined trips to the foul line.
In contrast the Regals went 7-for-27 from the floor and 2-for-7 at the foul line. Whitley finished with a game-high 17 points and three steals in the loss.
Gordon led the Bruins with 14 points in 37 minutes of action. Teammate Megan Arnoldy finished with 11 point on a 4-for-7 effort from the floor. Munger filled up the stat line with nine points, eight rebounds, six blocked shots and three steals in the win.
Cal Lutheran (18-10) finished its season with the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006. It was the final collegiate game in the careers of seniors Meaghan Goodenough, Shana Moore, and Chelsey Hastigan.
George Fox (28-0) will host Lewis & Clark (24-3) in the second round game on Saturday, March 3, at 7 p.m. PST.