The University of Redlands men's basketball team concluded its 2014-15 schedule by traveling to Whittier College on Monday night for the final regular-season contest. Despite knocking down 10 three-pointers for the team's season-high, the Bulldogs came up short in a 57-67 loss.
After trailing by nine early in the game, the Maroon and Gray rallied to tie it up at 16 apiece with an 11-2 run. Senior guard Connor Griffin's (San Ramon, CA) three-pointer with 10:57 left on the clock initiated the scoring spurt that was later capped off by a jumper by sophomore guard Sean Milligan (Portland, OR).
Freshman forward Will Tender (Spokane, WA) converted a bucket from downtown to put the Bulldogs up by a score of 19-16, but the Poets responded with a 9-1 run to close out the half for a 25-20 lead.
At the start of the second stanza, the Maroon and Gray evened the tally once again by dropping in five quick points. Junior forward Aljosa Bjekovic (Maribor, Slovenia) and freshman center Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) combined efforts on the offensive end to get things rolling.
But another scoring run by the Poets resulted in a nine-point Bulldog deficit with 13:44 left in the game.
Well-timed shots from long range by Bjekovic and Milligan made it 31-36 at the midway point of the second half.
Although Bjekovic knocked down three more buckets from downtown in the final minutes, Whittier took care of its opportunities at the stripe to keep the Maroon and Gray at bay, resulting in the 10-point loss for Redlands.
Bjekovic finished with 18 points, which included a 5-for-10 effort from beyond the arc. He also pulled in 10 rebounds for another double-double on the season.
Milligan and Tender each chipped in 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Redlands earned a slight rebounding advantage with a 41-to-39 margin, including a 13-to-6 difference in offensive boards.
The Bulldogs (7-18, 4-12 SCIAC) currently sit eighth in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings, with one game remaining for the other eight teams.