Despite holding North Central College (IL) to its lowest scoring output of the season by more than 30 points, the University of Redlands women's basketball team came up short against the Cardinals by a score of 61-65 in Tuesday's non-conference bout in Currier Gym. The Bulldogs dominated the game in multiple facets, including shooting percentage (41.3%-28.4%), rebounding (53-44), and assists (21-13), but struggled against the Cardinals' frenetic pace and trapping defense that led to 32 Maroon and Gray turnovers.
Early on, Redlands set the tone with back-to-back three-pointers, as senior guards Caitlin Ciardella (South San Francisco, CA) and Kameran Dage (Walnut Creek, CA) knocked down their opening shots of the game. A slow start for the Cardinals allowed the Bulldogs to build an 11-4 lead, as Dage hit another long-range shot and senior guard Kaity Lykins (Simi Valley, CA) joined in the offense with a jumper.
However, North Central fired off a 7-2 run to take the lead at 14-13 with 12:46 to go in the opening period.
Nonetheless, Redlands responded with an offensive outburst of its own, as the home team scored 10 unanswered points over the next five minutes. Lykins led the barrage of baskets with six points for the Bulldogs.
Leading 23-14, the Maroon and Gray continued to adjust to the high-speed style of the Cardinals while maintaining an advantage through the end of the first half. Back-to-back buckets by freshman forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) put the Bulldogs up by a score of 31-26 after the first 20 minutes of action.
By the 12-minute mark of the second frame, Redlands held a 10-point lead after Dage and senior forward Nicole Packard (Thousand Oaks, CA) combined for five straight points.
However, the Cardinals' three-point offense heated up at just the right time, as the visiting squad clawed its way back into the game with effective long-range shooting. Michaela Reedy knocked down her only shot from downtown to make it 51-50 in favor of North Central with 8:39 left on the clock.
On their next possession, Emily Zgoda snagged a steal and quickly extended the Cardinals' lead to four with another trey.
From here, North Central stayed out in front, although another Dage three-pointer cut the Bulldogs' deficit to two with 59 seconds to go. But Redlands' final possessions came up empty, resulting in the four-point loss.
For the Bulldogs, Dage led all players with 16 points, while Lykins added 14 points and 13 rebounds in a double-double effort. Packard dished out a game-high seven assists for the Maroon and Gray.
For the Cardinals, Zgoda scored 14 points and Tess Godhardt chipped in 11.
Redlands (2-3) looks to rebound on Saturday when it faces Trinity University (TX) in a 5 p.m. non-conference game in Currier Gym.