The University of Redlands men's basketball team collected its first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) win of the season with a 76-57 triumph over the visiting Caltech Beavers during "Family Fun Night." After a tight first half, the Bulldogs stepped up on both ends of the court, forcing the opponents into tough shots while also converting quality looks on offense.
The Maroon and Gray built an early 8-0 lead, with senior guard Marco Kengott (San Diego, CA) setting the tone with six of these points by the 16-minute mark.
However, the Beavers rallied back to eventually tie it up at 14 apiece.
A back-and-forth stanza ensued, with the Bulldogs gaining a slight 33-32 advantage at halftime.
During the second half, Redlands gained a quick four points from Kengott to extend its lead to five at 37-32. From here, the Maroon and Gray methodically made it a double-digit advantage by applying great defensive pressure against the opponents. Freshman guard Max Melder's (Sierra Vista, CA) first made three-pointer of the game put Redlands up by a score of 45-34 with 15:36 left on the clock.
The Bulldogs continued to score while taking care of their chances at the free-throw line, going 15-for-17 in the second half. Freshman center Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) provided quality minutes for Redlands, converting all four of his free-throw opportunities in the second stanza.
With a solid lead, Redlands utilized 14 players, with freshman guard Kyle Husslein (Tamuning, Guam), freshman forward Reed Hopkins (Spokane, WA), freshman forward Will Tender (Spokane, WA), sophomore forward Ryan Borak (Yorba Linda, CA), and junior guard Jake Olsen (Portland, OR) making contributions in the win.
Overall, Kengott erupted for a career-high 23 points, which came off of an 8-for-12 effort.
Junior forward Aljosa Bjekovic (Maribor, Slovenia) played a critical role in the Bulldogs' win, earning his sixth double-double of the season. Today's showing came off of 17 points and 11 boards, with 13 and nine taking place in the first half.
Junior forward Kyle Milligan (Portland, OR) served as a key facilitator, notching four assists. He also chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
Redlands (4-8, 1-2 SCIAC) welcomes the Occidental College Tigers to Currier Gym on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. SCIAC showdown.