Bulldog Men's Basketball Captures SCIAC Championship with Win over La Verne
The University of Redlands men's basketball team clinched a share of the 2010-11 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship with last night's 57-46 victory over the Leopards of the University of La Verne, earning the program's first title since the 1989-90 season.
The Bulldogs also enter this weekend's SCIAC Postseason Tournament as the top seed, having earned the tiebreaker with two regular-season wins over co-champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.
In Tuesday's game, Redlands jumped out to an early seven-point lead within the first five minutes and never relinquished control.
The Bulldogs stretched their advantage to 27 points midway through the second stanza as six players contributed at least one basket during this span.
Although La Verne put together a 13-4 rally in the final seven minutes, Redlands maintained its double-digit lead through the final whistle en route to the program's 19th SCIAC title.
Senior forward Matt Dietrich (Phoenix, AZ) led the Bulldog offense with 18 points, which came off of 7-for-10 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Brian Kuklok (Poway, CA) came off the bench for 11 points, while six other Redlands players chipped in four or more points in the victory.
The Maroon and Gray shot a solid 51.1%, compared to La Verne's output of 37.5%.
In his fourth year at the helm of the Bulldog men's basketball team, Head Coach Jim Ducey now owns conference championships with four different teams at Redlands. His first came in 1995 with the men's tennis team, followed by five consecutive championship runs with this program. He also led the women's basketball team to its second title in program history during the 2003-04 season. He then recorded back-to-back championships with the women's tennis team, beginning in 2008.
Back in 1989-90, the Bulldogs shared the SCIAC men's basketball title with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and the University of La Verne. Redlands' best finish prior to this year was a tie for second place, which came in 2006-07 under former Head Coach Gary Smith.
Redlands (14-11, 11-3 SCIAC) welcomes fourth-seeded Cal Lutheran University (14-11, 8-6 SCIAC) to Currier Gym for a 7:30 p.m. semifinal on Friday. Second-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps hosts the third-seeded University of La Verne in the other semifinal game of the 2011 SCIAC Postseason Tournament.