The University of Redlands men's basketball team enjoyed a hot start and never looked back in a convincing 96-74 victory over the visiting Kingsmen of Cal Lutheran University on Wednesday night in Currier Gym. With the win, the Bulldogs remain in fourth place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings while pulling two games ahead of fifth-place Whittier College.
Sophomore forward Parker Landolf (Alamo, CA) came out firing with two three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to start the game. A couple plays later, junior forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA) reeled in an offensive board and kicked it out to senior guard Joey Sponheim (Redlands, CA) for Redlands' third trey of the game and a 9-2 lead just over two minutes into the action.
After solid defense from both teams, Sponheim stepped back to hit another bucket from downtown to make it 12-4.
Although CLU cut the lead down to four, Redlands looked to Menary and Landolf to push it back to 16-8 by the 14:02-mark.
While continuing the three-point attack, junior guard Hass Berry (Riverside, CA) drained a deep ball for the Bulldogs' 21-17 advantage with 10:11 to go in the opening half. As action progressed, first-year guard Gary Menary (Grass Valley, CA) joined the three-point barrage and sank a pair of his own, giving the Bulldogs a 33-22 lead with 7:12 on the clock. The margin grew larger with Sponheim's triple on the next possession, which was followed by a tip-in by Landolf to stretch the lead to 16 points.
Following more than three minutes of tough defense from the Bulldogs, the Kingsmen finally scored on a layup with 4:54 left in the stanza. Nonetheless, sophomore forward Spencer Bandow (Covina, CA) extended the home team's advantage to 20 on the next possession with a jumper off of Sponheim's offensive board.
To end the first half, the Bulldogs gained points from four different players to take a 51-34 lead into the break.
D. Menary came out of halftime re-energized and scored the first eight points in just over a minute and a half for Redlands to take control of a 59-34 lead. At the 16:06-mark, junior wing Brittian Foster (Long Beach, CA) checked into the game and made an immediate impact with a bucket on his first play. On the ensuing two Bulldog possessions, Foster received trips to the charity stripe and went 3-for-4, which put the Maroon and Gray up by a score of 69-47 with 13:54 left on the clock.
About two minutes later, Sponheim connected on Redlands' first three-pointer of the half, which put the score at 75-54. Despite a different approach than the first half, the Maroon and Gray's offense continued to click with three different players combining for six points to make it 86-64 with 6:54 still to play.
The Kingsmen managed to cut the lead to 19 points with 2:18 remaining, but the Bulldogs closed out the game to seal a 96-74 victory.
D. Menary led the Maroon and Gray with 22 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and a block. Sponheim continued to stuff the stat sheet with 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Landolf scored an efficient 19 points on 6-for-9 shooting, while G. Menary recorded 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
As a team, the Bulldogs shot 44% from beyond the arc and out-paced CLU, 40-20, on the glass. The Maroon and Gray also shared the ball well with a 21-15 assist advantage. Redlands also forced 15 turnovers and converted those into 24 points.
Redlands (13-10, 8-6 SCIAC) hits the road for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off against Caltech on Saturday, February 16, as part of a doubleheader with the women in Pasadena.