Redlands Men's Basketball Edged by Pomona-Pitzer in Tight SCIAC Contest
The University of Redlands men's basketball team slipped into a tie for third place with Saturday's 68-74 loss to the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges. After trailing by as many as 12 points, the Bulldogs rallied back to within two with less than three minutes to go in the game. However, stellar free-throw shooting down the stretch by Pomona-Pitzer proved to be the difference in the waning seconds.
Redlands jumped out to an early seven-point lead when senior forward Stephen Call (Portola Valley, CA) sank a shot from beyond the arc. He repeated this effort at the 14:20-mark to maintain the Bulldogs' advantage at 14-7.
However, the Sagehens quickly answered with a 12-1 run to take a lead that eventually held up.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs refused to go away by improving their shooting to a clip of 45.2% during the second stanza.
Facing a 28-40 deficit less than two minutes into the period, Redlands rattled off a 16-6 run with senior center Jack Colston (Dana Point, CA) leading the charge with six points to make it 44-46 at the 9:34-mark. He finished with a team-high 21 points along with 12 rebounds and three steals.
The Sagehens pulled away but the Bulldogs came roaring back to make it a two-point game on three more occasions, with the final one coming at 2:43 when sophomore forward Eric Radford (Federal Way, WA) drained a three-pointer.
However, consecutive long balls by Pomona-Pitzer quickly resulted in a seven-point lead for the Sagehens.
With 39 seconds remaining, the Bulldogs faced an eight-point deficit but gained a jumper from Radford and a three-pointer from senior guard Mychal Estrada (Redlands, CA) on back-to-back possessions to make it 65-68.
With time running out, Redlands was forced to foul and the Sagehens converted all six attempts from the charity stripe, putting the game out of reach.
Besides Colston, junior guard Tristan Kirk (Redlands, CA) provided a double-digit scoring effort with 12 points. Seven additional Bulldogs chipped in with at least two points.
Pomona-Pitzer's freshman Jack Klukas posted a career-high 28 points, which included two late-game three-pointers.
The Maroon and Gray won the rebounding battle by one (36-35) but dominated the offensive boards, 15-8. Redlands gave up only 11 turnovers, compared to Pomona-Pitzer's 15.
Redlands (11-9, 6-3 SCIAC) heads to Whittier College on Wednesday for an important SCIAC clash with its third-place partners. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.