The University of Redlands men's basketball capped off an exciting first night of the 64th Annual Lee Fulmer Memorial Tournament by collecting the program's 1000th overall victory. The hot-shooting Bulldogs rode an early lead en route to a comfortable 84-70 win over Pacifica College.
The Bulldog men's basketball program dates back to the 1917-18 season when Ashel Cunningham led the squad to a 7-1 record.
After scoring the first 12 points of the game by the 15:30-mark, Redlands cruised to an eventual 21-point halftime advantage with an impressive 58.1% performance from the field. Senior center Jack Colston (Dana Point, CA) played a substantial role in the Bulldogs' success, knocking in 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting in the opening frame.
The Bulldogs maintained their double-digit lead through the final whistle. In an impressive feat, Colston finished the night with 22 points on 77% shooting to go along with 14 rebounds, three assists, and two rebounds. Junior guard Josiah Brensdal (Kent, WA) added 17 points on an 8-for-11 display, while junior guard Tristan Kirk (Redlands, CA) added 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Rounding out the double-figure scoring, senior forward Stephen Call (Portola Valley, CA) supplied 11 points off the bench.
Pacifica gained 20 points from junior guard Alex Brandon (Monterey, CA), while freshman forward Quincy Spencer (Monterey, CA) and junior guard Terry Beazley (Los Angeles, CA) chipped in 16 and 10, respectively.
Overall, the Gladiators handled the ball well with only seven turnovers on the night.
Redlands (1-3) tips off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and faces UC Santa Cruz, which pulled out an exciting double-overtime win.
The third contest featured a double-overtime battle with UC Santa Cruz finally knocking off Arizona Christian University by a score 92-86.
Santa Cruz came out firing with a 51.7% performance from the field to complement a 90% free-throw effort, which resulted in a 10-point advantage after the first 20 minutes of action.
However, the momentum shifted as the Firebirds of Arizona Christian clawed their way back into the game, unleashing a 64% shooting display in the second half. They eventually knotted it up for the first time at 48 apiece with 12:56 left in the period.
A back-and-forth battle ensued with Santa Cruz nabbing a six-point lead with less than two minutes to go.
But back-to-back buckets by Arizona Christian and a costly turnover by the Banana Slugs made it a two-point game with 1:23 left on the clock.
The Firestorm defense stepped up with a big stop to get the ball back with 22 seconds, leading to the eventual tying basket by senior guard Josh Cole (Phoenix, AZ).
During the first overtime, Arizona Christian seemed to be in control, nabbing a four-point lead with 1:41 remaining.
However, Santa Cruz took care of the ball at the free-throw line, hitting three of four opportunities to close within one.
A missed foul shot by the Firestorm and a huge rebound by UCSC's sophomore guard Trent Reeves (Ventura, CA) gave the Banana Slugs another last chance. A broken play led to an eventual feed by senior guard Nathan Morhi (Monterey Park, CA) for a quick jumper by senior forward Tyler Hunt, tying the score once again.
The second overtime was all Santa Cruz as senior guard Samuel Allen (San Francisco, CA) drained the opening three-pointer, giving his team an early advantage that led to the six-point win.
Hunt finished out the game with 22 points for Santa Cruz. Allen and sophomore guard Spencer Wells (San Francisco, CA) contributed 16 apiece. Senior forward Brent Jacobs (San Diego, CA) pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds.
Arizona Christian's sophomore guard Albert Suniga (Phoenix, AZ) led all scorers with 25 points, which came off of 8-for-12 shooting and a near-perfect performance from the line. Cole supplied 18 points, four assists and three steals, while freshman forward Jared Culbert (Henderson, NV) and sophomore forward Daniel Cornelius (Phoenix, AZ) added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Cornelius led the Firestorm with 10 rebounds.
In Thursday's 3:30 p.m. match-up, the defending tournament champions, Chapman University, took a step closer to repeating their title by defeating the University of La Verne, 74-60.
The teams battled it out in a tightly-contested opening half with Chapman holding a slim six-point lead at the break.
However, the Panthers opened it up with 17 unanswered points to start off the second half and never looked back.
Senior center/forward Ben Ricard (Westlake Village, CA) put together a well-balanced effort for the Panthers, scoring 19 points and pulling in 10 rebounds.
Coming off of La Verne's bench, senior forward Austin Napolitano (San Dimas, CA) finished with a game-high 22 points, knocking down seven field-goals and eight free-throws.
Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and American Sports University tipped off the tournament in the opening game at 1:30 p.m., with the Sagehens cruising to a solid 93-54 victory.
After taking control with an early 10-point lead, the Sagehens held off the Fighting Eagles midway through the first half as they cut the deficit to two. However, American Sports' comeback was short-lived as Pomona-Pitzer eventually posted a 44-26 lead at the break.
The Sagehens simply dominated the second half with a 64.7% shooting performance and benefitted from a diversified offense that included 12 different scorers.
Sophomore guard/forward John Weiss (Cleveland, OH) and sophomore forward Jake Klewer (Tucson, AZ) each tallied 14 points for Pomona-Pitzer, while Weiss also collected a double-double with 10 rebounds.
American Sports was led by freshman guard Antonio Sanders (Staunton, VA), who registered a game-high 19 points to go along with a trio of assists, rebounds and steals.
The 64th Annual Lee Fulmer Memorial Tournament continues on Friday with La Verne and American Sports tipping off in the 1:30 p.m. game. Pacifica and Arizona Christian battle it out in the 3:30 p.m., followed by Chapman and Pomona-Pitzer at 5:30 p.m.
For complete box scores of all games, please log on to the tournament web page http://www.goredlands.com/sports/mbkb/2011-12/files/Fulmer