The University of Redlands women's basketball team officially opened the 2014-15 season on Saturday by taking on the 12th-ranked University of St. Thomas (MN) Tommies in Currier Gym. After facing an early 13-point deficit, the Bulldogs remained relentless in their effort against a quality team but struggled to complete the comeback en route to the 42-56 loss.
The Tommies came out firing and quickly established a 22-9 lead by the midway point of the first half.
However, the Maroon and Gray clawed its way back into the contest to make it an 11-point game before closing out the opening 20 minutes with a 7-2 run to trail by a score of 25-31 at the break. Senior forward Victoria Fakalata (East Palo Alto, CA) and sophomore forward Nina Newman (San Mateo, CA) teamed up for Redlands' offensive outburst during this stretch.
The Bulldogs continued their momentum in the early goings of the second stanza, as the team cut the deficit to four at 32-36. Senior guard Kameran Dage (Walnut Creek, CA) knocked down a three-pointer before converting a pair of free-throws to propel the Bulldogs.
From here, both squads suffered through a dry spell on offense, but the Tommies managed to overcome it first with a pair of baskets from long range, resulting in a 12-point advantage with 11:22 to go in the game.
Redlands closed the gap to six points once again but that was as close as it would move before time expired.
St. Thomas' Maggie Weiers led all scorers with 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting.
For Redlands, Dage registered a team-best 13 points, while Fakalata chipped in nine points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Overall, the Tommies (1-0) shot 38.2%, which topped the Bulldogs' 28% effort. In addition, St. Thomas knocked down seven three-pointers to Redlands' two.
Redlands (0-1) welcomes Bristol University to Currier Gym for a 7 p.m. non-conference bout on Tuesday, November 18.