THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2015) – Sophomore Kate Lewis (San Antonio, Texas / Ronald Reagan) posted a monster fourth straight double-double as the Caltech women's basketball team improved on its earlier-season performance at California Lutheran University on Saturday afternoon.
The Beavers hung right with the Regals until just before halftime, eventually falling 69-54 but nearly halving the deficit in the teams' previous matchup just two weeks prior. Cal Lu improves to 12-6 overall and 7-2 in the SCIAC, while Caltech is now 0-20 (0-11).
"Our goal coming in was to play a better game than last time out, and we accomplished that," Head Coach Sandra Marbut said. "CLU is in second place in the conference; we never like to lose, but we competed and did well against a very good team."
Lewis scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed an incredible career-high 18 rebounds to lead the Beavers, who struggled to overcome a 15-shot disadvantage and -14 rebound margin.
"Kate showed her grit by staying after it tonight despite starting out more than a little flustered by the tight double team," Marbut said. "She kept working the boards to keep involved and contributing, and focused on finding her teammates. When they adjusted to that, she went back at them with post moves and finding new ways to score."
Caltech jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening two minutes, but Cal Lu turned the table with the next six points. Sophomore Stephanie Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) sent the Beavers ahead with a three-pointer at the 14:32 mark and junior Kristin Anderson (Folsom, Calif. / St. Francis) made it 11-8 at 13:22, but the Regals scored eight straight points over the next four minutes to take a 16-11 lead.
Wong made it a one-basket game on a jumper at the 7:55 mark and again on another trey with 3:30 left in the half, but Cal Lu would surge to a 27-18 lead at the break.
Sophomore Michelle Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) drilled a three-pointer as the shot clock expired on the first possession of the second half, but a five-minute scoreless stretch allowed Cal Lu to extend the margin out to 18 with 13:17 on the clock and a game-high 22 at 4:32. The Wong sisters nailed back-to-back three-pointers, both on assists from Lewis, late in the game to help trim the margin to its final 15.
Lewis' 20 points came on 9-of-17 shooting while she added five assists, two steals and one block. Both Wongs chipped in 11 points on a trio of three-pointers, with Michelle shooting an efficient 4-of-7 (3-of-5 from downtown), dishing out three assists and making two steals while Stephanie added two blocks, one assist and one steal.
"Michelle had a great night tonight, finishing just one point off her season high with a very efficient game," Marbut said. "What you can't see on the stat sheet was how well she commanded her area and role on defense too – she was fantastic at both ends of the court. Stephanie continues to be a great shooter, hitting some typical big threes to keep the game from getting away."
Marbut and the Beavers will look to avenge a narrow early-January loss as they host Whittier College (7-10, 3-6) on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 5:00 p.m.