The University of Redlands women's basketball team fell behind early on Saturday evening, but the squad showed resiliency and overcame the early deficit to earn the resounding victory over Occidental College, 67-53. Senior forward Brittany Oster (Agoura Hills, CA) eclipsed the 20-point mark for the third-consecutive contest for Redlands, while senior guard Colleen Goeser (San Carlos, CA) also experienced a big night en route to leading the Bulldogs to another vital Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) triumph.
The Bulldogs struggled to find an offensive rhythm early on in the game and fell behind 4-11 after the Tigers started the game hot.
Senior forward Madison Sanders-Curry (San Jose, CA) and Oster helped pull the Bulldogs back to within striking distance, each tallying a pair of baskets over the next few minutes. Sophomore forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) then came into the game and nailed a jumper, tying the contest at 16-16 with 8:35 left in the first stanza.
Continuing the momentum, the U of R played stifling defense during those final eight minutes and converted its possessions offensively, finishing the half on a 16-6 run. Neither team shot particularly well during the first 20 minutes, with the Maroon and Gray registering a 33.3% mark overall and the Tigers notching a 27.3% effort, but the Bulldogs did excel from the free-throw line, making 8-of-10.
In the second half, Goeser began to dictate the tempo of the game, continually beating the Tigers' press and finding open teammates for easy looks.
Occidental (11-11, 5-8 SCIAC) did cut into Redlands' lead, however, and with 15:53 remaining, trailed just 31-38. Goeser then scored 10-straight points for the Bulldogs, including a pair of back-to-back long-range efforts to put the U of R back in front by 16 points.
Over the next few minutes, both junior guard Kaity Lykins (Simi Valley, CA) and Oster nailed some key baskets to put the game out of reach, sealing the second SCIAC victory of the week for the Maroon and Gray.
The Bulldogs finished the day shooting 39.3% from the field, while the Tigers notched just a 31.1% effort overall. In addition, Redlands was clutch from the charity stripe, hitting 17-of-19 on the night.
Oster finished with a game-high 24 points and 13 boards, while Goeser racked up 21 points and nine assists in the win. Sanders-Curry tallied another double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three blocks. Additionally, Lykins provided a solid all-around performance with eight points, 12 boards, four assists, and one block.
The Maroon and Gray (17-5, 10-3 SCIAC) returns to the court on Thursday night when it hosts Cal Lutheran University. Tipoff in this important SCIAC matchup is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.