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Playing for the very first time on its new home court inside the Lillian and Larry Goodman Center, the Roosevelt women’s basketball team gave Lakers fans a performance to remember with a decisive 90-62 win over Trinity Christian on Saturday afternoon.
Erin McCaslin led four Lakers in double figures with 17 points to propel Roosevelt (9-1, 6-1 CCAC) to its fifth consecutive win and a historic victory in the Lakers’ inaugural game on campus.
Maria Tamburrino notched her fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Casey Davis added 16 and Becky Williford scored 11. Jennie Van Hook pulled down 10 rebounds to go with her seven points, and Tori Clark had another productive game off the bench with eight points and seven boards.
Roosevelt head coach Robyn Scherr-Wells had nothing but excitement to express after her team played inside the Goodman Center for the first time.
“It was a really cool feeling to walk out on the court and see our logo on center court and watch our girls warm up with everything around being green and saying Lakers,” said Scherr-Wells, whose team has played at three different home gyms in the past two-plus seasons before finally settling in at the newly-finished on-campus facility. “It was an amazing feeling and totally worth the wait.”
The Lakers started the game on an 11-2 run during the contest’s first four minutes, and less than 10 minutes later Roosevelt built the advantage to 16 on a Tamburrino jumper.
Roosevelt would go up by as many as 20 right before halftime, and in the second half the Lakers never saw their lead go under 15.
“We got out to a nice start,” said Scherr-Wells. “It was a better start than I anticipated. Obviously Erin McCaslin hitting a few threes close together helped us, and Maria had a great start shooting the ball as well. They spurred that early run and did a fantastic job.
“Casey Davis had a really good second half,” Scherr-Wells continued. “Devin Talley did some good things. Really we had a great performance from all of our kids. Jennie Van Hook gave us some good minutes. Tori Clark, as always, was really solid. It was great because I felt everyone played well, which is nice on your first day in the new gym.”
Roosevelt University President Dr. Charles R. Middleton addressed the crowd before the start of the game to welcome everyone in attendance to the Goodman Center. Dr. Middleton gave a special thanks to Mike Elkins, Executive Director of the Cebrin Goodman Center, and his wife, Dale, who were in attendance representing the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations. Mr. Goodman made the lead gift to build the Goodman Center, which is named after him and his late wife.
Roosevelt trustee Charles R. Gardner presented the game ball for the opening tip of the women’s contest, while his wife, Patti Eylar, presented the game ball in the men’s basketball game that followed. The couple’s support of the Goodman Center project is honored on the facility’s hardwood, which is recognized as The Patti Eylar/Charles R. Gardner Court.
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Cassidy also spoke prior to the game to honor everyone who made the new facility and Roosevelt Athletics possible.
The Lakers, who are in first place in the CCAC and receiving the most Top 25 votes of any team in the nation not currently ranked, begin a six-game road stretch on Dec. 5 by facing Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind.