Redlands Women's Basketball Rallies past CLU Regals in Regular-Season Finale
The University of Redlands women's basketball team returned unscathed from Thousand Oaks on Saturday as it captured an exciting 60-59 victory over the Regals of Cal Lutheran University during the final Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown of the regular season. After relinquishing an early 15-point lead, the Bulldogs overcame a six-point deficit in the final four minutes to nab a hard-fought win on a buzzer-beater lay-up by sophomore guard Marika Staton (El Centro, CA).
While shooting 45.8%, Redlands controlled the game in the first half, building a 27-12 lead by the 8:12-mark.
However, the Regals refused to go away and rallied all the way back to make it a three-point game at the break.
Cal Lutheran's momentum continued into the second stanza as it grabbed its first lead of the game just minutes into the action.
The Bulldogs knotted the score at 45 all when sophomore forward Madison Sanders-Curry (San Jose, CA) converted a lay-up with 10:29 left on the clock.
Moments later, the squads faced only the second tie score of the game at 48 apiece.
The Regals surged out a quick lead with an 8-2 run, capped off by a three-pointer by the game's leading scorer, Erica Whitley.
Not to be outdone, Redlands drained a pair of critical long balls with junior guard Ashley Sevilla (San Diego, CA) and Staton knocking down the shots. In addition, the Maroon and Gray defense stifled Cal Lutheran's last-minute scoring efforts, as the Regals missed five of their final six attempts. The lone bright spot for Cal Lutheran came in the form of Chelsey Hastigan's three-pointer to give her team a one-point lead with 1:10 to go.
After three timeouts between the teams, along with one missed shot each, the Bulldogs finally prevailed on last-second score from Staton, who led her team with 13 points.
Freshman guard Kaity Lykins (Simi Valley, CA) returned to action after a one-game hiatus, scoring 10 points and pulling in 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive end. She also dished out four assists to lead the Bulldogs.
Aside from Staton and Lykins, six other players chipped in four or more points for the Maroon and Gray.
Leading the Regals, Whitley offered 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Rachel Heagy came off the bench as the only other double-digit scorer with 10.
Overall, Redlands produced a more efficient offense, shooting 45.8%, compared to CLU's 32.4% showing. However, the Bulldogs were plagued by 24 turnovers, which resulted in 22 Regal points.
After finishing second in the SCIAC standings, Redlands (18-7, 12-2 SCIAC) advances to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Bulldogs welcome third-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges to Currier Gym for a 7:30 p.m. tilt on Thursday. The Maroon and Gray registered two wins over CMS in the regular season, with the most recent victory coming on a tight 61-60 decision.