DeLaveaga’s 23 Lead Cal Lutheran : Lopez Hopes Worst Is Behind Kingsmen After 85-72 Victory
You won’t find Steve deLaveaga scrapping underneath the Cal Lutheran boards to score a basket.
Look for deLaveaga hovering around the three-point line. That’s where he likes to launch the jump shots that he has nailed in abundance this season.
The Master’s College found deLaveaga at his favorite spot during Tuesday night’s NAIA District III basketball game at CLU. The Mustangs, however, did little to stop deLaveaga from doing what he does best--scoring at will.
DeLaveaga scored 23 points to lead CLU to a 85-72 victory.
While deLaveaga was held to less than his 26.1 game average, three other Cal Lutheran players scored in double figures.
CLU’s win extended Master’s losing streak to four and dropped the Mustangs to 2-3 in district play.
The Kingsmen (3-7) have won three of their past five games and evened their district record at 1-1.
For CLU Coach Larry Lopez, Tuesday’s win was a sign that the worst is over for the Kingsmen, who limped out to an 0-5 start and didn’t win their first game until the third week of the season.
“We’re starting to play well and show some intensity,” Lopez said. “Things are starting to look better.”
Lopez also was pleased that deLaveaga, who has led the Kingsmen in scoring in every game, had help Tuesday. Mike Demeter and Jeff Logsdon both scored 15 points and James Faulk added 14.
“We’ve always had three or four guys in double figures for us,” Lopez said. “If our guys continue to do what they did tonight, we’re going to have some success.”
Up until Tuesday’s game, CLU’s success has come from deLaveaga. He tied a career-high scoring mark of 38 points in CLU’s win over Cal State Stanislaus in the Kingsmen home opener two weeks ago.
DeLaveaga has led CLU in scoring 16 times last season and in 35 of the 64 games in which he he has played.
Master’s Rocky Shipes scored a game-high 24 points and Phil Hahn and J. T. Thompson added 18 and 10 points, respectively.
CLU converted 32 of 68 field-goal attempts and sank 13 of 19 free throws for 68%. Master’s sank 25 of 66 from the field and 17 of 20 free throws.
Despite Master’s losing record, Lopez said he expected a tough game. “Master’s plays hard and they get the most out of their talent,” he said. “If you’re not ready for them, they’ll beat you.”
The Mustangs (3-9) sorely missed starting guard Kenny Smith, who has been out of action for several games because of a stress fracture of his lower left leg.