Jarrod Olson has never been afraid to schedule games against top level competition which is how a young Lancers team found themselves at Jenny Craig Pavilion on Friday afternoon playing 15th-ranked Arizona in a neutral site game.
However, the Wildcats showed why they are the 15-ranked team in the country. Kailyn Gilbert had a game-high 25 points and Madison Conner had 22 points as the Wildcats rolled to an 81-63 win at Jenny Craig Pavilion on Friday.
Rolled is a relative word to Friday’s outcome.
California Baptist held its own…at least in the middle quarters. Unfortunately, the Lancers couldn’t overcome a slow start in the first quarter. And then a dominant fourth quarter by the Wildcats.
At the half CBU trailed 34-26 as Sila Finau and Grace Schmidt each scored six points to keep the Lancers within striking distance.
Kinsley Barrington’s third quarter layup with 8:49 left closed the Arizona lead to 34-28.
Then a Helena Pueyo basket pushed the Wildcat lead to 13 points (45-32) with 4:25 remaining.
However, CBU closed the quarter on a 17-11 run which cut the Arizona lead to 56-49 after 30 minutes. Sila Finau and Brittany Klaman connected on a pair of 3-pointers in that run.
However, CBU never quite got over the hump in its comeback, upset bid.
A Madison Conner 3-pointer pushed Arizona’s lead to 63-49 with 8:21 remaining.
CBU closed the gap to nine points twice on a bucket by Sila Finau and a 3-pointer by Trinity San Antonio. But the deficit and slow start were just a little too much for the Lancers to overcome.
Arizona remains undefeated on the year and will play USD Saturday. The Lancers will rewind the clock four years and play Idaho State, their first regular season opponent at the Division I level.
Trinity San Antonio had 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists to lead the Lancers. Grace Schmidt added 11 points and three rebounds. Sila Finau chipped in another 10 points, 13 rebounds, and two steals in defeat.
CBU falls to 2-4 on the young season. The Lancers are one of a handful of teams in the WAC that have not played a non-DI opponent. And, the Lancers won’t play a non-DI opponent in 2022-23.
CBU has to get off to a stronger start in its contest against Idaho State on Saturday.
Tip against Idaho State at the USD Thanksgiving Tournament is set for 2 p.m. PT.