With a total-team effort, the University of Redlands men's basketball team dominated the visiting Eagles of American Sports University during Saturday's showdown of the Lee Fulmer Classic in Currier Gym. The Bulldogs relied on 15 different players to not only compete on the floor but to score in the 101-68 victory.
Redlands grabbed an early 6-0 lead with points coming from sophomore guard Sean Milligan (Portland, OR), junior center Shawn James (Plano, TX), and junior forward Aljosa Bjekovic (Maribor, Slovenia). Less than five minutes into the game, the Bulldogs owned a 17-4 lead, with Bjekovic scoring 11 of their opening points. He finished the night with 25 points in only 21 minutes of action.
With 9:59 left in the opening frame, the Eagles had cut the deficit to seven when Devin McDonough knocked down a three-pointer to cap off the scoring spurt.
However, Redlands quickly responded with a 13-5 run to make it 40-25, as five different Bulldogs chipped in one or more points during this outburst. Freshman center Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) and sophomore forward Zack Whittet (Palm Desert, CA) led the charge with four points apiece.
The momentum stayed with the Maroon and Gray, as the squad earned a 54-35 advantage at the end of the first half. In the final five minutes of the frame, the Bulldogs' scoring frenzy included freshman guard Max Melder (Sierra Vista, AZ), freshman forward Will Tender (Spokane, WA), freshman guard Kyle Husslein (Tamuning, Guam), and senior guard Marco Kengott (San Diego, CA).
Despite a few mini-rallies by the Eagles, Redlands' win was never in question.
American Sports gained double-figure scoring from four players, including McDonough with 19 and Evan Bethel with 17.
One of Redlands' late-game highlights included a three-pointer by freshman guard Jay Staudacher (Kirkland, WA), giving him his first career points with the Bulldogs. In addition, junior guard Jake Olsen (Portland, OR) gained the most minutes of his career thus far and made the most of them with his eight-point performance on 2-for-2 shooting.
Overall, the Maroon and Gray bench accounted for 55 points. Redlands shot 47.6% from the field but struggled from downtown. However, the Bulldogs converted 82.6% of their chances at the charity stripe and limited their turnovers to only 11.
James, Kengott, O'Brien, and Tender chipped in eight points apiece. Junior center Kyle Milligan (Portland, OR) and Kengott combined for 11 assists. K. Milligan also added 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Redlands (2-2) looks forward to taking on the 17th-ranked Pirates of Whitworth University (WA) in Wednesday's 7 p.m. showdown in Currier Gym.