The University of Redlands women's basketball team kicked off its three-game, road trip on Wednesday evening by squaring off against the No. 6 George Fox University (OR) Bruins in Newberg, OR. Despite a stellar showing in the second quarter that resulted in a 34-27 halftime lead, the Bulldogs struggled to maintain that rhythm down the stretch and ultimately just missed out on the upset in a 62-70 decision.
The Maroon and Gray nabbed its first lead of the game in the opening two minutes after back-to-back baskets by senior forward Sydney Bennett (Agoura Hills, CA) and junior guard Courtney Chen (La Canada, CA). Although Redlands stayed within striking distance throughout the first quarter, the visiting squad faced a five-point deficit to start the second stanza.
With a refreshed lineup and the necessary adjustments in tow, the Bulldog offense lit up the scoreboard on a 22-10 run to take a seven-point lead at the midway point of the game. The scoring spurt began with freshman guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) converting a jumper and a trey-ball on consecutive Bulldog possessions, before junior forward Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA) added to the fire power for Redlands' 19-17 advantage with 7:58 left on the clock.
Following Bennett's ensuing jumper, Redlands continued to impress defensively and rode out the Bruins' scoring drought with a seven-point run of its own that included baskets from Chen, junior forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA), and junior guard Caitlyn Dixon (Seattle, WA).
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 32-23 over the next few minutes, thanks in part to back-to-back lay-ups by freshman guard Mariana Ecija (San Diego, CA) and junior guard Angela Silver (Scotts Valley, CA), both of which came off senior guard Jade Cheldelin's (Portland, OR) key defensive rebounds.
Cheldelin capped off the impressive quarter with a jumper of her own, giving the Maroon and Gary a 34-27 advantage at the halftime break.
The Bulldogs stayed in front at 38-31 after early baskets by Ecija and sophomore guard Mandy Silver (Scotts Valley, CA), but the Bruins remained steadfast in their game plan and forced a back-and-forth battle through the end of the third frame.
With the score tied at 47, Redlands fought to keep it close, with Siksnus knocking down a critical three-pointer but it was not enough, as George Fox put together a lucrative final stanza to earn the lead and the eventual win.
Ta'amu came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with 13 points, including a 7-for-11 showing at the charity stripe. Cheldelin provided 10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and three steals in a well-rounded effort.
Overall, Redlands won many of the statistical categories, including shooting percentage, three-point field-goal percentage, free-throw shooting, rebounds, and assists.
The Bulldogs (1-2) strive to rebound on Friday when they take on Willamette University (OR) at 1 p.m. in Salem.