The University of Redlands men's basketball team capped off the 2016 Lee Fulmer Memorial Classic on Saturday night by taking on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons in Currier Gym. Despite shooting 52.6% from beyond the arc, the Bulldogs struggled to maintain that rhythm against a more consistent Falcons' squad and ultimately fell short by a score of 58-81.
Sophomore guard Trevor Baker (Phoenix, AZ) set the tone from downtown by hitting the first of his five threes on the night right out of the gates, putting the Bulldogs up, 3-0.
However, UWRF had plenty of fire power of its own and quickly made it a 14-8 game off of four treys with 16:08 left on the first-half clock.
A few possessions later, Baker found junior forward Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) for a lay-up, before Baker and freshman forward Jesse Wims (London, England) each converted a three-pointer to even the tally at 18 with 12:32 remaining.
But every time Redlands created some offensive flashes, the Falcons answered with multiple long balls of their own, with the visiting team eventually creating a 10-point advantage at 29-19.
Although sophomore guard Joey Sponheim's (Redlands, CA) three-pointer cut the Bulldogs' hole to seven with 4:39 to go, UWRF kept its distance with timely buckets and successful trips to the charity stripe. Baker added the Bulldogs' final points of the opening half on a free-throw and three-pointer, sending his team into the halftime break with a 26-34 deficit.
Unfortunately for the home team, the Falcons continued to pull away, maintaining a double-digit advantage for most of the second stanza. Baker and Wims teamed up from beyond the arc for successful buckets, while junior guard Kyle Husslein (Tamuning, Guam) and senior forward Sean Milligan (Portland, OR) muscled their way into the paint for critical points. Nonetheless, a Bulldog comeback was not in the cards, as the Falcons handed them a 58-81 loss.
Baker led the Maroon and Gray with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, all of which were three-pointers. Sponheim was the only other Bulldog in double figures, scoring 10 points. Milligan and Wims chipped in nine apiece.
Redlands (2-2) enjoys a short break from competition before hosting the Bristol University Bears on Tuesday, December 13, at 5 p.m. in Currier Gym. The Bears are coached by former Bulldog assistant John Janssen.
La Verne vs. Trinity:
In game one of the second day of the Lee Fulmer Memorial Classic, the University of La Verne Leopards took on Trinity University (TX). Both teams suffered close losses last night and were looking for redemption. In a completely opposite result, La Verne jumped out to an early lead and successfully held onto it to ultimately win by a score of 95-77.
Senior forward Jordan Stokes started things strong for the Leopards by nailing the six of the first eight points. La Verne sophomore forward Evan Gustafson converted a lay-up at the 12:45-mark to extend the Leopards' lead to 19-10.
The Tigers kept battling to put together a combination of lay-ups and jumpers, highlighted by a crafty lay-up from sophomore forward Isaiah Specks, who also drew a foul. He drained his subsequent free-throw to put the Tigers within three at 17-20.
However, the Leopards' offense kept cruising, sinking bucket after bucket, to enter halftime with a 12 point advantage at 47-35.
With six-and-a-half minutes left to go in the second half, La Verne sophomore guard Juan Eason II hit nothing but net from beyond the arc while being fouled. He completed the four-point play to give the Leopards their biggest lead of the night at 87-57.
In the ensuing minutes, the Tigers refused to go away and fired off a 20-8 run, led by junior forward Jayden Holden with eight points during this stretch. Trinity was attempting the comeback but the clock ran out, declaring La Verne the victors.
Senior forward A.J. Pulliam served as the Tigers' leading scorer with 18 points.
Leading for La Verne, junior guard Victor Costa provided a nice spark off the bench with 14 points. As a team, the Leopards shot 55.4% from the field, as compared to Trinity's 36.6%.
#43 Jayden Holden - Trinity
#34 Jordan Stokes - La Verne
#2 Grant Erickson - UWRF
#5 Alex Herink - UWRF
#44 Jesse Wims - Redlands