The University of Redlands men's basketball team continued its Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) journey in Pasadena on Tuesday night by taking on the Caltech Beavers. The Bulldogs endured an off night on both ends of the floor en route to a difficult 47-49 last-second loss.
The Bulldogs had a difficult time managing any offensive rhythm throughout the first half, as they shot a lowly 19.4 % from the floor. The Bulldogs grabbed their first lead of the game with 9:49 left on the clock, as senior guard Marco Kengott (San Diego, CA) laid in consecutive buckets for a 10-7 advantage.
However, the Maroon and Gray gave up a 12-3 Beaver run that put Redlands behind by a score of 13-20 with 5:16 left to go in the first half. Freshman guard Kyle Husslein (Tamuning, Guam) worked to get the deficit down to eight points by knocking down 3-of-4 free-throws.
At the end of the half, Redlands trailed Caltech, 17-25.
Sophomore guard Sean Milligan (Portland, OR) worked to notch the first points of the second frame by converting a lay-up to push the score to 19-25. The Bulldogs still remained shaky on offense, as they faced a 12-point deficit early on.
Nonetheless, the Maroon and Gray refused to give up, as the team strung together a 9-2 run with the help of two jumpers by freshman center Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) and a three-point play by sophomore forward Ryan Borak (Yorba Linda, CA).
Midway through the period, S. Milligan pocketed a steal and converted the new possession into two points while also drawing a foul to make it a three-point opportunity. He cashed in at the charity stripe to complete the play to bring the score to 32-36 with 10:23 to play.
O'Brien stepped up at a crucial moment by knocking down a shot from behind the arc and then following that up with a pair of free-throws on the ensuing possession to give the Bulldogs a 37-36 advantage with seven minutes left on the clock.
But the Beavers corralled the lead once again by capitalizing from behind the arc and at the charity stripe, forcing the Bulldogs to respond.
Freshman forward Reed Hopkins (Spokane, WA) buried a three-pointer to bring the score to 42-45 with 3:15 left, while Kengott worked his way to the line to snag two points to make it 44-45 with a hair over a minute to play.
With the Bulldogs down 44-47 with 17 seconds left to go in the contest, S. Milligan came up clutch when needed the most by draining a three-pointer to tie the game up at 47-47 with just eight seconds remaining on the clock.
However, the Beavers successfully capitalized with the remaining time on the clock to convert a game-winning lay-up to win the game. Caltech relied on its big performer of the night to get the job done, as KC Emezie tallied his 20th and 21st points on the final play.
S. Milligan led the Bulldogs in scoring with 11 points to go along with two blocks. O'Brien chipped in 10 points and hauled in five rebounds.
Redlands shot just 25.8% from the floor, as compared to the Beavers' 37.5% effort. Caltech also relied heavily on three-pointers by nailing 8-of-20 from behind the arc.
The Bulldogs (5-14, 2-8 SCIAC) return home on Saturday, February 7, to take on the Cal Lutheran University Kingsmen (14-4, 8-2 SCIAC) in Currier Gym at 7 p.m.