The University of Redlands women's basketball team faced off against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Athenas on Wednesday night in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown within the friendly confines of Currier Gymnasium. After cutting their deficit to two points late in the second half, the Bulldogs struggled to maintain any offensive rhythm and suffered a 48-61 loss to the first-place Athenas.
Senior forward Victoria Fakalata (East Palo Alto, CA) notched the first two points of the game for the Maroon and Gray by converting a pair of free-throws to bring the score to 2-3. With Fakalata in early foul trouble, freshman forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) significantly contributed to the Bulldog offense by notching seven points in an 11-minute span to eventually bring the score to 16-15 in favor of the Bulldogs with 5:43 left in the first stanza.
Sophomore guard Nina Newman (San Mateo, CA) entered the game with five minutes to go and immediately made an impact by draining a jumper to knot the tally at 18 apiece.
After a small Athena run, senior guard Caitlin Ciardella (South San Francisco, CA) and Ta'amu teamed up for a perfect 4-for-4 showing from the charity stripe to cut the Redlands deficit back to one at 24-25.
By the end of the half, the Bulldogs trailed CMS by a score of 26-32.
Junior forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) buried a jumper to kick off the scoring for Redlands in the second half and maintain a six-point deficit.
The Athenas effectively stepped up their defense to force Redlands into a short scoring drought. However, senior guard Kaity Lykins (Simi Valley, CA) got the Bulldogs back on track with a lay-up to bring the score to 30-36 with 17:32 left on clock.
But CMS answered once again, this time firing off a 9-0 run to create a 45-30 advantage.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs remained relentless and unleashed a 15-2 run to make it a two-point game and force the Athenas to take a timeout with 8:01 remaining. After Ta'amu initiated this rally with a hard-fought lay-up, Ciardella knocked down a critical bucket from beyond the arc. Freshman Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA) came in off the bench to score six points in a two-minute span and complete the stellar showing by the Maroon and Gray.
However, the momentum quickly shifted back into the Athenas' hands, as they strung together a 14-2 run that ultimately resulted in the Bulldogs' 48-61 defeat.
Ta'amu served as the leading scorer for the Bulldogs with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Ciardella chipped in eight points while going 2-for-3 from three-point range.
As a team, the Bulldogs shot 39.6% from the floor, as compared to the Athenas'41.8% effort. Redlands won the rebounding battle with a slight 33-29 margin.
Redlands (9-12, 6-6 SCIAC) continues SCIAC action on Saturday, February 14, when it travels to the University of La Verne for a 2 p.m. showdown against the Leopards (10-12, 7-6 SCIAC).