After a 13-day break from competition, the University of Redlands men's basketball team traveled to Whittier College for the Purple & Gold Poet Classic on Monday night to take on unfamiliar foe, Albion College (MI). After a very tight first half, the Bulldogs faced a nine-point hole with 6:34 to go in the second stanza but their comeback efforts fell short, resulting in a tough 47-50 loss.
The opening 20 minutes saw both teams garner small advantages but neither could break away, leading to a knotted tally of 25 at the break.
The Brits jumped out to an early lead in the second half, forcing the Bulldogs to play catch-up from the start.
Trailing by a score of 36-45, Redlands refused to go away, as a well-balanced offensive attack led to a two-point deficit with 46 seconds to play. Sophomore guard Sean Milligan (Portland, OR), junior forward Kyle Milligan (Portland, OR), freshman guard Max Melder (Sierra Vista, AZ), and junior forward Aljosa Bjekovic (Maribor, Slovenia) all contributed points during this stretch. In addition, Albion struggled down the stretch due in part to the Maroon and Gray's stifling defense. The Brits misfired on five shots from the floor and four from the charity stripe while coughing up the ball on four occasions.
Despite the Maroon and Gray's late-game rally, Albion managed to stretch its lead to three with a made free-throw with 16 ticks on the clock, forcing the Bulldogs to shoot their final two attempts from beyond the arc. Neither shot fell, leading to the 47-50 non-conference defeat.
Senior guard Marco Kengott (San Diego, CA) registered the only double-digit effort for Redlands, scoring 10 points in 26 minutes of action. S. Milligan chipped in seven points, while three other Bulldogs added six points each.
Redlands (3-5) looks to rebound on Tuesday when it battles it out with UC Santa Cruz in the 6 p.m. game of the Poet & Gold Poet Classic.