Redlands Wins Lee Fulmer Tournament with 67-54 Victory over Pomona-Pitzer
The University of Redlands men's basketball team captured the program's eighth Lee Fulmer Memorial Tournament championship with Saturday's solid 67-54 victory over the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in Currier Gym. After jumping ahead by two less than five minutes into the game, the Bulldogs maintained control of the lead through the final whistle, returning the tournament title back to Redlands after a five-year hiatus.
The hot-shooting Maroon and Gray earned a 12-point advantage by the end of the first half with a well-balanced attack that saw seven different players score at least one bucket.
Pomona-Pitzer eventually cut the deficit to eight at 38-46 when sophomore forward John Weiss (Cleveland, OH) scored a lay-up with 11:54 left in the game.
But the Bulldogs quickly responded with a 10-2 run, highlighted by senior forward Stephen Call's (Portola Valley, CA) three-pointer with 7:25 on the clock, bringing the Currier crowd to its feet.
Junior guard Brian Kuklok (Poway, CA) continued his stellar shooting with a 6-for-9 performance for 19 points. Junior guard Tristan Kirk (Redlands, CA) also stepped up with a well-rounded stat line of 16 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one block. Senior center Jack Colston (Dana Point, CA) provided a 10-point, nine-rebound and three-assist showing for the Bulldogs.
Kuklok, Colston, and Kirk earned All-Tournament honors, with Kirk taking home the MVP award.
Pomona-Pitzer's Weiss recorded 12 points and six boards to go along with four blocks and four steals, giving him a spot on the All-Tournament team as well.
Freshman guard Kyle McAndrews (Seattle, WA) led the Sagehens with 16 points.
During the third-place game, Chapman University and UC Santa Cruz battled it out in an evenly matched contest. Neither team found its rhythm for quite some time until the Panthers broke a 19-all tie at the two-minute mark on a sophomore forward Nick Dragovich (La Crescenta, CA) lay-up. Chapman mustered a halftime lead of three points, which eventually stood up for the 74-65 win.
Midway through the second period, the Panthers erupted for a 15-2 run to put the game away, highlighted by back-to-back buckets by freshman guard Taylor Hamasaki (Mission Viejo, CA).
Santa Cruz battled through the final ticks of the clock, forcing Chapman to take care of the ball while sinking its free throws in the last few minutes.
Chapman gained a team-high 15 points from senior guard Brandon Lin (Corona, CA), who landed on the All-Tournament team. Senior forward Ben Ricard (Westlake Village, CA) stepped up with 14 points and seven boards, while Hamasaki and Dragovich chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Banana Slugs looked to a well-balanced attack with senior guard Samuel Allen (San Francisco, CA) stepping off the bench to score a game-high 18 points on 4-for-4 shooting. Three of the Santa Cruz starters recorded double-digit points, including All-Tournament honoree senior forward Brent Jacobs (San Diego, CA) with 11.
The University of La Verne wrapped up its effort at the Lee Fulmer Tournament by sliding past Arizona Christian University in an 82-68 victory to capture the consolation championship. The Leopards held a 15-point advantage at the break and never looked back while hitting 13 three-pointers in the process.
Once again, senior guard Trevor Woodland (Covina, CA) and senior forward Austin Napolitano (San Dimas, CA) highlighted the box score, registering 27 and 25 points, respectively. Woodland scored more than 20 points for the second straight game, while Napolitano notched his second consecutive double-double of the tournament.
Napolitano earned the tournament sportsmanship award for his stellar contributions.
Three different Firestorm players posted double-digit scoring, headlined by freshman forward Jared Culbert's (Henderson, NV) 14 points.
In the seventh-place contest, the Gladiators of Pacifica College squeezed out a tight overtime 83-79 victory against the Fighting Eagles of American Sports University. Pacifica collected its lone win of the tournament as junior guard Jerry Santos (West Covina, CA) swiped a steal and went coast-to-coast to break the tie with 2:17 left in the contest.
Offensively, it was a two-man show for the Gladiators as Santos and freshman forward Quincy Spencer (Monterey, CA) combined for 50 points. Spencer notched a tournament-best 30 points, while Santos dropped in 20.
The Fighting Eagles gained a huge performance from sophomore forward Ronald Coleman (Moreno Valley, CA), who tallied a double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds, which included a clutch game-tying buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime.