U of R Men's Basketball Returns to SCIAC Postseason Tournament with Semifinal Showdown against the Whittier Poets

U of R Men's Basketball Returns to SCIAC Postseason Tournament with Semifinal Showdown against the Whittier Poets

After tying for second in the tight and competitive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings with a record of 9-7, the University of Redlands men's basketball team clinched a SCIAC Postseason Tournament berth as the No. 3-seed, marking the program's third postseason trip in six years and the first since 2012-13. The Bulldogs travel to Whittier College to face off against the No. 2-seeded Poets (9-7) on Friday, February 26, at 7:30 p.m. in one of two semifinal games.

The No. 1-seeded Chapman University Panthers (12-4) hosts the No. 4-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (8-8) in the other semifinal match-up at the same time in Orange.

The highest remaining seed after Friday's contests will host the SCIAC Postseason Tournament Championship game on Saturday, February 27, at a time to be announced.

All SCIAC students, faculty, and staff with an institutional ID, and children under the age of 12 are eligible for free admission. The general admission fee is $10. Senior citizens (55+) and military personnel receive a discounted price of $5.

Fans may also follow the action via Live Stats and web streaming. The cost for the video broadcast is $10, as per SCIAC policy.

The Bulldogs feed off the offensive prowess of senior forward Al Bjekovic (Maribor, Slovenia), who averages 17 points and 7.7 rebounds, and has notched four double-doubles in conference play. Sophomore guard Kyle Husslein (Tamuning, Guam) backed Bjekovic on the offensive front by averaging 10.2 points and nearly a steal per game. Junior guard Sean Milligan (Portland, OR) has been dynamic on both ends of the hardwood while putting up 9.1 points and 1.4 steals per game. Freshman guard Joey Sponheim (Redlands, CA) serves as an effective weapon off the bench with his 38.7 shooting percentage from downtown.

The Poets rely heavily on the three-ball by averaging 26.9 long-range attempts per game. Senior forward Andrew Torres (Whittier, CA) is their main offensive outlet with a scoring average of 15 points while boasting a 44.6 shooting percentage. Senior guard Eric Jennings (Fontana, CA) adds 13.5 points per game to the mix, while senior forward Ben Maynard (Pasadena, CA) brings versatility with 7.8 points and 4.5 boards per game.

The Poets own the season series against the Bulldogs, having defeated them twice by the respective scores of 97-77and 85-77.

In the other semifinal showdown, the Panthers and Stags square off for the third time this year after splitting the regular-season series at one game apiece. Chapman took down CMS by a score of 77-71 early in the year, while CMS recently defeated the Panthers, 77-73, in their last meeting on Tuesday, February 23.