The University of Redlands men's basketball team battled it out with the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Saturday night in Currier Gym. Despite a hot start that resulted in the Bulldogs' biggest lead of the night, the Maroon and Gray struggled to maintain that offensive rhythm against a more proficient attack by the visiting team and eventually lost by a score of 61-78.
After sophomore guard Trevor Baker (Phoenix, AZ) drove the lane for a lay-up, freshman forward Jesse Wims (London, England) fired off back-to-back three-pointers to put the Bulldogs up by a score of 8-2 with 16:34 left in the first half.
As the Sagehens struggled with offensive fouls and turnovers, Redlands continued to click on all cylinders, with Baker and sophomore guard Joey Sponheim (Redlands, CA) combining for the next five points. Wims capped off the Bulldogs' impressive start to the contest with another three-pointer for their 16-2 advantage less than six minutes into the action.
However, Pomona-Pitzer was unfazed by its early deficit and slowly chipped away at the hole. Despite Bulldog three-pointers by junior guard Kyle Husslein (Tamuning, Guam) and Baker, the Sagehens answered with better overall shooting to eventually take the lead at 27-25 at the 5:50-mark.
Nonetheless, Redlands responded with a 7-0 run that included a Baker trey and back-to-back jumpers by junior forward Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) to make it 34-27 with 2:42 remaining in the opening half.
However, costly Redlands turnovers allowed Pomona-Pitzer to rattle off a run of its own, which closed the deficit to 33-34 at the halftime break.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Sagehens' scoring streak continued into the second half, resulting in a 59-43 lead at the 10-minute mark.
Redlands rallied for a 12-2 run to make it a six-point game at 55-61, as Baker and senior guard Sean Milligan (Portland, OR) caught fire offensively. Milligan also found an open O'Brien for a key jumper during this spurt.
Although the Bulldogs came up with some big shots down the stretch, it was not enough to counter the Sagehens' proficient shooting from beyond the arc and at the free-throw line, resulting in the 61-78 loss for the home team.
Baker finished with a team-high 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting, while Wims chipped in 11 points and Milligan added 10. Milligan also dished out five assists for the Bulldogs.
Redlands knocked down 12 three-pointers on the night, as compared to Pomona-Pitzer's 10. But the Sagehens went to the stripe more on a 14-for-20 showing, with the Bulldogs only converting on of their six chances.
The Bulldogs (5-9, 1-4 SCIAC) strive to get back on track on Thursday, January 19, when they host the Whittier College Poets in a SCIAC showdown at 7 p.m. in Currier Gym.