The University of Redlands women's basketball team continued Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action in a vital showdown against the Chapman University Panthers on Wednesday night in Currier Gym. The Bulldogs secured a 47-45 victory in an all-around team effort on both sides of the hardwood on "Play 4 Kay" night, which helps raise breast cancer awareness.
The Bulldogs burst out of the gates with guns blazing in the first half, earning a 20-5 advantage in the opening 12 minutes of play. Junior guard Ashton Beth (Windsor, CA) provided one of many hot hands for the Maroon and Gray, as she notched six points in the opening four minutes to gain a quick 8-3 advantage. Freshman forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) followed Beth's lead by registering seven points, which included a solid three-point play that displayed her physical toughness underneath the hoop, to put the Bulldogs up by a score of 15 points with 8:43 left in the first stanza.
With a hair over seven minutes to play in the first frame, freshman guard Brooke Hulett (Poway, CA) and senior guard Caitlin Ciardella (South San Francisco, CA) expanded the Bulldog lead to 26-7 after notching back-to-back three-pointers on two-consecutive possessions. Junior forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) and sophomore forward Nina Newman (San Mateo, CA) joined the scoring parade by notching a jump shot each to contribute to a 32-17 Bulldog advantage at halftime.
The Maroon and Gray worked to maintain its 15-point lead in the early part of the second half, as Ciardella kept the Bulldogs on track by draining two shots from behind the arc in a two-minute span. Sophomore guard Jade Cheldelin (Portland, OR) chipped in two points when she rose over a defender to drain a fade-away jumper and push the score to 43-27 with just under 11 minutes to go in the contest.
However, Chapman put together valiant comeback effort, due in part to a 16-point, second-half showing from Andrea Villanueva. With 1:20 left in the second half, Redlands' lead was cut to two at 47-45.
Despite the late-game run by the Panthers, the Bulldogs held on for the crucial 47-45 victory.
The Bulldogs used a 32-point first half to set the tone on offense, which contributed to a shooting percentage of 43.2%. In addition, Redlands knocked down 4-of-9 three-pointers to equal a 44.4% mark.
Beth and Ciardella each notched nine points on the night, while senior forward Victoria Fakalata (East Palo Alto, CA) chipped in eight points. Ta'Amu recorded six points in 20 minutes of action.
Villanueva led all scorers with a 26-point showing to go along with nine rebounds for the Panthers.
With the win, Redlands keeps its SCIAC postseason hopes alive, maintaining its fourth-place position in the standings. The Bulldogs (11-12, 8-6 SCIAC) continue conference action at home on Saturday, February 21, as they take on the Pomona-Pitzer Colleges Sagehens at 5 p.m. for Senior Night.