September 22, 2023

Finishing last season with a winning 29-3 record overall, the women’s basketball team at California Baptist University took advantage of a head start this summer in preparation for the upcoming season.

With the first official tipoff months away, the team has plenty of time to build strength and develop chemistry.

Team development began early on Aug. 17 as the team traveled to Taiwan to play in a tournament.

Dankook University was the first competitor of the tournament, where CBU ran away with a 76-62 victory. Cassidy Mihalko, senior business administration major and guard, led the team with 25 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Courtney Nelson, senior undeclared major and guard, followed Mihalko, racking up 15 points, 10 re-bounds and four assists. The victory was earned after a back-and-forth battle be-tween CBU and Dankook, going into halftime with a score of 38-37.

The third quarter told a different story for the Lancers, finishing with a 62-45 lead heading into the fourth quarter of play.

The explosiveness of the team helped them solidify the lead and earn the win.

In the following day of tournament play, the Lancers took on National Taiwan University of Sport, toppling their opponent with a 105-55 victory. Going into halftime with a 54-30 lead, the team breezed through the third quarter, putting an additional 25 points on the board going into the fourth.

The lead allowed for the 10-man roster to each log at least 19 minutes on the court, mixing the veterans and newcomers on the squad.

Fo Guang University was next on the list of opponents the team faced, resulting in a 77-73 loss.

Going into halftime down 40-28, the team looked to fight back in the third and fourth quarters. While CBU’s explosive third quarter advanced the team to an eight point deficit going into the fourth, the team fell short of Fo Guang by four points.

The three seniors carried the team in points, scoring at least 17 points each. Despite the loss, the team went on to play Mukogowa Women’s University of Japan in the semifinal game.

The semifinal game presented the final challenge for the Lancers, falling just two points shy to Mukogowa 66-64. Mihalko once again proved herself a dominant force on the court, scoring 23 points, grabbing 21 rebounds and three steals.

Down by nine points at the half, the team rallied to make a comeback in the third and fourth quarter, but could not complete it.

Finishing the tournament fourth overall, the team traveled back home to begin pre-paring for the new season.

The Lancers will take on the Highlanders of the University of California, Riverside, in an exhibition game Oct. 29. The basketball season officially begins for the Lancers Nov. 4 through 6, on the road at the Division II Tipoff Classic in Orange, California.

They will then return home Nov. 17 to take on the Coyotes of California State University, San Bernardino, at 5 p.m.

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