Bulldog Women's Basketball Tames Lions of Eastern Nazarene at Tip-Off Classic

Bulldog Women's Basketball Tames Lions of Eastern Nazarene at Tip-Off Classic

The University of Redlands women's basketball team closed out the Tip-Off Classic with an impressive 56-39 win over Eastern Nazarene College (MA) during Saturday's evening match-up in Currier Gym.  While forcing the Lions into a nine-minute scoring drought, the Bulldogs built an early lead that was never relinquished.

After jumping out to a 6-0 lead, the Maroon and Gray quickly faced a tie score at 11 apiece.

But a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jade Cheldelin (Portland, OR) sent the Bulldogs on their way for an impressive 17-point run while Eastern Nazarene went 0-for-14 from the field.  During this spurt, Redlands relied on a well-balanced attack, with senior forwards Nicole Packard (Thousand Oaks, CA) and Victoria Fakalata (East Palo Alto, CA) each chipping in four points.

Mhiah Vickers broke the cold spell for the Lions with a pair of free-throws at the 1:45-mark.

But the Bulldogs sat comfortably out in front at 32-13 after the first 20 minutes of action.

Although Eastern Nazarene cut it to 10 in the early part of the second half, Redlands refused to give in and remained in control through the final whistle.

Throughout the contest, sophomore forward Nina Newman, Packard, and Fakalata provided plenty of give-and-go plays in the low post.  While shooting 5-for-11, Fakalata led all scorers with 15 points off the bench. Newman finished with six points and one assist, while Packard stepped up with nine points, nine rebounds, and two assists.

Overall, the Bulldogs won the rebounding battle with a 50-41 margin, which included 21 on the offensive end.  In addition, Redlands coughed up only 11 turnovers on the night and capitalized off of the Lions' 20 for 16 points.

Senior guard Kaity Lykins' (Simi Valley, CA) defensive efforts remained impressive, as she pulled in 13 rebounds. She also dished out four assists.

For their contributions during the two games of the Tip-Off-Classic, Lykins, Packard, and Fakalata represented Redlands on the All-Tournament Team.

Although the Chapman University Panthers held the lead for the majority of the contest, the Olivet College (MI) Comets put together a scrappy late-game performance that propelled them over Chapman by a score of 61-54.

After trailing by eight points at the start of the second half, the Comets began to claw their way back into the game.  Junior guard/forward Dallas Austin (St. Johns, MI) provided a three-point play before senior forward Carli Reid (Lansing, MI) pocketed an attempted Chapman pass and converted an and-one play of her own to cut the deficit to four.  Junior guard Shauni Hankins (Detroit, MI) knocked down a bucket from long range to continue the Comets' run, making it 35-38 with 16:09 remaining.

Chapman remained on top with clutch scores from senior guard Nicole Moy (Morton Grove, IL) and junior forward Natalia Ebrahimian (Santa Cruz, CA) midway through the second stanza.

Refusing to go away, the Comets grabbed their first lead of the second half when senior center Stefanie Lang (Valparaiso, IN) sank both of her free-throws at the four-minute mark.  

The teams traded a few more baskets, but Olivet broke a 53-53 tie with a huge trey by Austin before Hankins pulled in a critical rebound with 32 seconds to go.  Lang took care of the ball in the post and scored the dagger of a lay-up for the 58-53 Comet lead.

With Chapman forced to foul, Olivet converted four of its final six chances at the stripe, securing the 61-54 victory.

The Comets used a 41.7 shooting percentage in their victory.

Hankins dropped 17 points and hauled in six rebounds, while Lang tallied 15 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.

For Chapman, senior guard Andrea Villanueva (Chino Hills, CA) notched 13 points while posting a 6-for-8 mark at the free-throw line.  Ebrahimian finished with eight points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

For their efforts at the Tip-Off Classic, Hankins and Villanueva landed on the All-Tournament Team.