Redlands Men's Basketball Tops Caltech for First SCIAC Win of the Season

Redlands Men's Basketball Tops Caltech for First SCIAC Win of the Season

The University of Redlands men's basketball team took to the road on Thursday night to square off against the Caltech Beavers in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown.  In a game that included six ties and four lead-changes, the Bulldogs pulled away late in the game off of great defense and quality shooting to capture a 78-71 win in Pasadena.

Redlands built an early 14-8 lead to start the game, as junior forward Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) and sophomore guard Joey Sponheim (Redlands, CA) bookended the run with three-pointers.

However, the Beavers worked to tie it up at 21.  Following a successful free-throw by freshman forward Jesse Wims (London, England), sophomore guard Trevor Baker (Phoenix, AZ) knocked down a three-pointer to put the Bulldogs back in front at 25-21.

The teams went on to trade buckets and free-throws, until Caltech knocked down a pair of three-pointers to take a slight advantage late in the first half.  At the midway point of the game, the Beavers held a slight 39-36 advantage.

The back-and-forth battle continued into the second stanza, with Caltech fighting to build a 57-51 lead by the 12-minute mark.  After Baker swiped a steal and drove the basket for a lay-up, Wims converted four free-throws over the next few minutes to keep Redlands within striking distance. 

Sponheim continued this trend at the stripe and then hit nothing-but-net on a three-pointer after junior guard Kyle Husslein (Tamuning, Guam) dished him a dime of a pass.

With the score knotted at 62-all, the Bulldogs looked to Husslein to continue pressing offensively with back-to-back lay-ups, before Sponheim snagged a key offensive board and converted it into a lay-up for Redlands' 68-64 lead.  O'Brien and senior guard Sean Milligan's (Portland, OR) buckets made it an eight-point game with 48 seconds left on the clock.

From here, Baker and O'Brien took care of business at the free-throw line, combining for a 6-of-8 showing to seal the deal for the Maroon and Gray.

Wims and Baker each fired off 20 points, with Wims going 3-for-4 from downtown.  Sponheim chipped in 15 points off the bench.  In addition, Wims pulled in 11 rebounds, while Husslein distributed five assists.

Redlands (5-8, 1-3 SCIAC) returns home to Currier Gym on Saturday, January 14, for a 7 p.m. SCIAC bout with Pomona-Pitzer Colleges.