The University of Redlands women's basketball team traveled to Whittier College on Monday night for its final game of the regular season. The Bulldog offense struggled to keep up with the Poets' long-range shooting and suffered a 65-82 defeat. As a result, the Bulldogs enter the upcoming Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament as the No. 4 seed.
In Monday's game, the teams battled back and forth through the 8:04-mark of the first half, when Redlands held a slight 19-18 lead off of a bucket by junior guard Ashton Beth (Windsor, CA).
A quick 8-1 run by the Poets over the next two minutes forced the Bulldogs to play catch-up.
Unfortunately for the Maroon and Gray, Whittier stayed hot as it orchestrated another scoring spurt to close out the half with a 38-26 lead.
The Bulldogs worked to stay within striking distance in the second half, cutting their deficit to 10 points for the final time at 44-54 with 12:27 left on the clock. Senior forward Victoria Fakalata (East Palo Alto, CA) did her best to carry the Maroon and Gray by scoring 14 of her team-high 22 points during this stretch of the second half.
But the Poets' long-range shooting proved to be timely and effective, leading to their 82-65 win over Redlands.
Beyond Fakalata's 22-point, Beth and freshman forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) provided eight points each off the bench.
Senior guard Caitlin Ciardella (South San Francisco, CA) served as the team's top facilitator with five assists.
Overall, Redlands shot 36.2%, while the Poets converted 44.8% of their attempts, which included a 13-for-25 showing from beyond the arc.
The Bulldogs (12-13, 9-7 SCIAC) compete again on Thursday, February 26, when they travel to take on top-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges at 7:30 p.m.