The University of Redlands men's basketball team hit the road for Wednesday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown against the Stags of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. After defeating the Stags in the teams' first meeting in early December, the Bulldogs hoped to repeat this effort in Roberts Pavilion. After CMS jumped out to an early lead, the Maroon and Gray mustered a late-game rally but fell short in a 66-80 decision.
Redlands answered the Stags' opening basket with a jumper by sophomore forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA) at the 18:18-mark of the first half. On the subsequent possession, junior guard Joey Sponheim (Redlands, CA) put the Bulldogs up by a score of 4-2 for the visiting team's only lead of the night.
Back-to-back three-pointers by CMS forced Redlands into catch-up mode, as first-year forward Parker Landolf (Alamo, CA) dished out an assist on Menary's lay-up to make it 6-8.
After the Stags fired off six-straight points, the Bulldogs answered with a 7-0 run of their own that included buckets by Landolf and first-year forward Jordan Holden (Anaheim, CA), with Holden knocking down a jumper and a three-pointer for Redlands.
Trailing by one at 13-14 with 12:31 remaining in the first half, the Maroon and Gray eventually tied it up at 16 on another Holden trey-ball, with this one coming off of an assist by Menary.
But before long, CMS got hot from long range and built a 31-19 advantage by the 5:10-mark. The Bulldogs battled through the end of the half, as sophomore guard Brittian Foster (Long Beach, CA), first-year guard Michael Hanna (Murrieta, CA), Menary, and Sponheim each chipped in points.
As the teams headed into the locker rooms, Redlands faced a 27-37 deficit with 20 minutes left in the game.
The momentum stayed with the Stags during the second half, as the home team maintained a double-digit lead for most of the final period.
At the 6:05-mark, first-year guard Jacob Russell (Boise, ID) found an open Foster, who drained a three-pointer to cut it to nine points at 53-62. Foster kept firing off successful shots and moved his team within five points, but it was not enough, as the Stags converted their free-throws and hit a late three-pointer to send Redlands home with the loss.
Menary led the Maroon and Gray with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three blocks in an outstanding effort. Foster and Holden impressed off the bench with 14 and 11 points, respectively, while Sponheim rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points.
Redlands (5-13, 3-6 SCIAC) heads to Whittier College on Saturday, January 27, for a 5 p.m. showdown against the Poets.