RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- With its fourth-straight win, the Lancers continue the new 2014 year with an unblemished record after defeating Dixie State, 79-62, Saturday night.
CBU now stands 7-8 overall and 5-4 in PacWest play. The Red Storm fall to a similar 7-8 record on the season and 5-4 in conference.
"We're really happy with the win," said head coach Jarrod Olson. "It's been pretty exciting to see the team develop as the season's carried on. I could see the girls play better as a group tonight and play with a lot of enthusiasm."
Four Lancers finished the night with double figures, led by Elise Shelton’s double-double. The senior center bucketed 17 points (8-for-17) and grabbed 11 boards.
"I struggled in the first half, but my teammates kept encouraging me and telling me to get to the basket and get rebounds," said Shelton. "It started to come along and my shot started to drop, but my teammates kept believing in me. I had no idea I grabbed a double-double, I just kept grabbing the ball."
Kamille Diaz matched her teammate’s 17 points (6-for-11) and Erin Asher and Cassidy Mihalko rounded out the quartet with 11 points a piece. Asher went 3-for-6 from the field and 6-for-9 at the free-throw line.
"We really strive for a balanced attack," said Olson. "Our team is really unselfish and wants to share the ball to help each other out."
For the Red Storm, Haley Holmstead led both sides of the ball with 34 points, but it wasn’t enough to carry her team to victory.
Diaz opened the contest with the first basket of the night, sinking a three from distance to put the Lancers in front early.
DSU kept the game close and tied the game 12 with 13 minutes before halftime. Asher responded with a bucket to keep the Lancers in front, but the Red Storm took over the lead at 16-14.
Determined to take back the upper hand, Shelton grabbed a key rebound on defense and found a quick outlet as Diaz and Mihalko were wide open on the other side of the court. Diaz set Mihalko up with an easy layup to tie the score at 16.
With 8:44 left in the first, Diaz’s jump shot put the Lancers back out in front where they’d remain for the rest of the half, taking their largest lead of the frame at 27-22 after the Red Storm tied the score for the sixth time at 22. CBU held on to its cushion, going into the locker room with a 36-31 advantage.
Coming out of the break, both teams exchanged points before either squad could put a significant run together until the Lancers went on a 7-2 run to go in front 51-39. CBU extended its lead further into double-digit territory as Shelton battled under the basket to grab two points and put her team in front 57-41.
"Elise stuck with the defense and perservered with the rebounding in the second half," said Olson. "It really made everything work better with her spearheading the strong inside attack. Tonight was her night."
The Red Storm cut into the lead with a 5-0 run, but Chanel Cambronero ended the modest scoring spree before DSU could really get going, driving to the basket to put the score at 61-46.
Heading down the stretch with a 20-point cushion at 69-49, CBU looked to keep the Red Storm off the boards and out of the net. Not letting go, DSU tried to put some offense together but ran out of time as the Lancers coasted to a 79-62 win.
The next time these two teams face each other will be in St. George, Utah, on national television as a CBS SportsNetwork Division II selected game. It will be an early tipoff on March 1 as the game is slated for 9 a.m. Pacific time.
"That's exciting, but it's still a long ways off," said Olson. "We haven't done much thinking about it, but it is in the back of our minds. It's the last game of the season so it'd be a great way to end the season."
CBU continues the two-game home stand with a 5:00 pm tipoff on Monday against Point Loma Nazarene, looking to keep the Lancers’ winning streak alive.