The University of Redlands women's basketball squad continued Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competition on Saturday night by facing off against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Athenas in Claremont. The Bulldogs struggled to maintain offensive rhythm throughout the contest and eventually fell to the Athenas in a 51-61 decision.
The Bulldogs trailed by a score of 2-10 early in the first half with the lone basket coming from senior forward Victoria Fakalata (East Palo Alto, CA).
Sophomore guard Jade Cheldelin (Portland, OR) came off the bench just six minutes into the contest and made an immediate impact by knocking down two jumpers to bring the Bulldogs within three points. Senior guard Caitlin Ciardella (South San Francisco, CA) came off the bench as well, complementing the scoring spurt with a three-pointer to tie the game at 12 apiece with 13:32 to go in the opening frame.
Despite then sudden offensive surge, the Maroon and Gray quickly lost momentum and trailed by 13 at 27-38 by the time the teams retreated to the locker rooms. For Redlands, junior guard Ashton Beth (Windsor, CA) was the most effective during the first half, notching seven points on 3-for-4 shooting in only five minutes.
However, the Bulldogs refused to go away and fought to cut the deficit down to seven points with 15:59 remaining in the second half. Fakalata knocked down a jumper followed by a nothing-but-net three-pointer from senior guard Kameran Dage (Walnut Creek, CA) to bring the score to 34-41.
Just minutes later, Fakalata laid a basket up and in off the glass for two points to make it a five-point game at 38-43. But this was as close as the Bulldogs would come to recovering from their first-half deficit and suffered a 51-61 defeat to the SCIAC-leading Athenas.
Despite the loss, Redlands' late-game highlights included the contributions of sophomore guard Selena Iriarte (Wilmington, CA), who entered the game with 7:29 to go and quickly notched five points via a jumper and a three-pointer to bring the score to 42-51.
Overall, Beth led the Bulldog offense with nine points off the bench, while senior guard Kaity Lykins (Simi Valley, CA) posted a team-high six rebounds.
The Bulldogs (4-7, 1-1 SCIAC) continue SCIAC competition on Wednesday, January 3, when they travel to Thousand Oaks to face the Regals of Cal Lutheran University at 7:30 p.m.