Redlands Surges Past Santa Cruz in Fulmer Tournament, Faces Pomona-Pitzer in Finals
With an impressive 63.5% shooting display, the University of Redlands men's basketball team overcame an 11-point deficit en route to taking down the Banana Slugs of UC Santa Cruz in Friday's semifinal game of the 64th Annual Lee Fulmer Memorial Tournament in Currier Gym. Scoring the most points of their season so far, the Bulldogs drained eight three-pointers en route to the 92-76 victory.
Down by 11 with 6:13 to play in the first frame, Redland rattled off a 16-6 run to close within one point at the break. Junior guard Tristan Kirk (Redlands, CA) led the Bulldogs' balanced attack by providing eight of his 12 points during this span.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Redlands nabbed its first lead of the game when junior forward Josiah Brensdal (Kent, WA) dropped in a jumper to make it 45-44.
The game remained tight until the Maroon and Gray fired off a 13-4 run with senior forward Stephen Call (Portola Valley, CA) uncorking eight of his career-high 23 points on the night.
From here, Redlands never relinquished control of the game while maintaining a double-digit lead through the final play.
Both teams struggled with fouls, racking up a combined 51 of them in the game. However, the Bulldogs prevailed from the charity stripe with a 72% performance, going 18-for-25, compared to the Banana Slugs' 58.8% showing.
Like his teammate Call, junior guard Brian Kuklok (Poway, CA) lit up the scoreboard with 23 points, highlighted by a 9-for-10 performance with three baskets from beyond the arc.
Kirk came up with 12 points, eight assists and four rebounds, while senior center Jack Colston (Dana Point, CA) chipped in 11 points and six boards.
Santa Cruz boasted three players in double figures with senior forward Brent Jacobs (San Diego, CA) and senior guard Samuel Allen (San Francisco, CA) each notching 17 points. Sophomore guard Trent Reeves (Ventura, CA) backed them with a 14-point performance.
Redlands now faces Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in Saturday's championship game at 7:30 p.m., while Santa Cruz battles it out with Chapman University for third place at 5:30 p.m.
In one of the most exciting Lee Fulmer Memorial Tournament competitions in recent history, the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens staved off the defending champions from Chapman University in the waning seconds of the first semifinal match. Pomona-Pitzer featured a classic shooting show in the second half, knocking down 76% of its field goals, highlighted by a perfect 4-for-4 performance from behind the arc, en route to the 80-79 victory.
Although the Sagehens never trailed in the contest, the outcome remained uncertain with the Panthers giving a gutsy effort through the final whistle.
By shooting 60.9% in the first half, Pomona-Pitzer led by 11 with 4:44 left on the clock.
However, Chapman eventually cut the deficit to four when freshman guard Jordan Young (Monterey Park, CA) banked in a three-pointer as the first half came to an end.
During the second period, the Sagehens appeared to be in control once again, accumulating a 14-point advantage at the 11:24-mark.
But the Panthers rallied back to make it a three-point game when senior center/forward Ben Ricard (Westlake Village, CA) hit back-to-back lay-ups with less than 90 seconds to go.
It came down to free throws and the Sagehens stepped up. Dual-sport student-athlete senior guard R.J. Maki (Claremont, CA) came up clutch for Pomona-Pitzer, scoring back-to-back free throws with just six seconds left in the match for an eventual team-high 15 points.
Four of the five Sagehen starters scored in double figures, while the starting quintet accounted for 56 of the team's total.
Senior point guard Brandon Lin (Corona, CA) led the Panthers with 19 points, highlighted by a huge three-pointer with 10 seconds left in the game to keep Chapman's hopes alive in the final seconds.
During the 3:30 p.m. match-up, Arizona Christian University registered its first win of the tournament by taking down Pacifica College in a 63-57 decision.
After trailing by nine, Arizona Christian rattled off a 10-0 run to finish out the opening half with a one-point lead.
The second half saw a back-and-forth contest with multiple ties until the Firestorm built a six-point advantage for the eventual win in the closing 4:15 of the game. Down the stretch, Arizona Christian took care of the ball at the charity stripe, edging out the Gladiators in the final minutes. Sharp-shooting senior guard Houston Friend (Phoenix, AZ) iced the game with two clutch free-throws with just 23 left on the clock.
Friend finished with a team-leading 14 points for Arizona Christian. Junior guard A.J. Koch (Tucson, AZ) and sophomore forward Daniel Cornelius (Phoenix, AZ) supplied 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Pacifica's freshman forward Quincy Spencer (Monterey, CA) dropped in a game-high 16 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
Arizona Christian faces the University of La Verne in Saturday's consolation championship at 3:30 p.m., while American Sports University takes on Pacifica College for seventh place at 1:30 p.m.
Kicking off the second day of the tournament, La Verne edged out American Sports University by a final score of 90-73.
Even though the Leopards finished off the game with a solid lead, the score remained tight for the majority of the contest with the Fighting Eagles only trailing by five points with 5:13 left in regulation.
American Sports faced foul trouble in the second half, giving La Verne significant opportunities at the line. Overall, the Leopards shot 70.4% from the charity stripe, converting 38 free-throws in the win.
La Verne's combination of senior forwards Trevor Woodland (Covina, CA) and Austin Napolitano (San Dimas, CA) led the offensive attack by notching 46 points, while Napolitano grabbed 16 rebounds in the process.
ASU had four different players reach double-digit scoring as sophomore guard Shuan Fenner (Newport News, VA) recorded a team-high 16 points by shooting 60% from the field.
For complete tournament results, please log onto http://www.goredlands.com/sports/mbkb/2011-12/files/Fulmer.