The University of Redlands men's basketball team traveled to Fullerton to take on the NAIA's 10th-ranked Hope International University on Monday evening. Although sophomore forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA) hit a career-high five blocks in a game that utilized nearly every available Bulldog, Redlands stumbled to the non-conference foe by a score of 43-84.
The Maroon and Gray jumped on the board first when senior forward Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) snagged a defensive board and raced the ball to Redlands' offensive end. He drove the ball to the hoop for a successful lay-up and the Bulldogs' early 2-0 advantage.
The Royals scored their next two buckets from downtown before freshman guard Michael Hanna (Murrieta, CA) nearly evened the score with a trey-ball of his own off an assist from sophomore guard Hass Berry (Riverside, CA) with 14 minutes left to go in the first.
Over the next six minutes, Berry and Menary supplied a combined 12 points to keep Redlands within striking distance at 17-27.
Impressively, Menary put up three blocks in just a minute and a half of action for plenty of defensive highlights to move Redlands to the five-minute mark. As time wound down, junior guard Joey Sponheim (Redlands, CA) and O'Brien provided key buckets to help the visiting team pull within six at 25-31 with 2:45 left in the first half.
However, the Royals added seven points to their lead to put the Bulldogs in a 25-38 hole at the half.
Hope International's offensive momentum carried into the second half, as the home team ran away with the game. Redlands shot 21.6% from the field, while the Royals shot 58.1% to hand the Bulldogs a tough 43-84 loss.
Despite the loss, Menary provided a key bright spot with a career-high five blocks, while O'Brien led the team with 11 points.
Redlands (2-5, 1-0 SCIAC) returns to Currier Gymnasium to host No. 1 Whitman College (WA) on Thursday, December 21. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.