Bulldog Women's Basketball Shows Poise down the Stretch in 58-53 Win over Dallas in the Redlands Tip-Off Classic

Photo credit: Olivia de la Cruz
Photo credit: Olivia de la Cruz

The University of Redlands women's basketball team competed in its second and final match-up of the Redlands Tip-Off Classic on Saturday night, taking on the Crusaders of the University of Dallas (TX) in Currier Gym. In a tight contest that featured seven lead-changes and six tied scores, the Bulldogs successfully held the edge at the final whistle due to clutch offensive possessions and strict defense late in the game to haul in a 58-53 victory.

The Bulldogs started on a high note by scoring the first five points of the game. Freshman guard Mandy Silver (Scotts Valley, CA) got the ball rolling with a lay-up in the first minute of action. Junior forward Jade Cheldelin (Portland, OR) followed with an and-one play on the next possession to notch three points.

After the Crusaders trimmed the Bulldog lead down to two points, senior forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) buried a short-corner jumper to put the Bulldogs ahead by four. Cheldelin quickly followed with a jumper, helping Redlands to continue to roll. Sophomore guard Caitlyn Dixon (Seattle, WA) buried a triple en route to an early 23-14 lead at the completion of the first quarter.

However, Dallas began to battle back, as the Crusaders outscored the Bulldogs, 11-3, in the second frame. Redlands' sophomore forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) earned her way to the charity stripe and buried two free throws, while Cheldelin cashed in one free-throw shortly after for a 26-25 advantage at the midway point of the game.

At the start of the third stanza, the Maroon and Gray came out with hopes of matching their first-quarter output. Ta'amu did just that by knocking down the first four points of the third frame. Cheldelin kissed the glass for a bucket to help the Bulldogs complete a 6-0 run.

M. Silver contributed a bucket with less than six minutes remaining, as sophomore guard Courtney Chen (La Canada, CA) followed with a made free-throw for the Bulldogs' five-point cushion. Farry continued to carry an offensive presence by hitting a crucial jumper with 47 seconds left in the third frame, which was followed by another converted and-one play by Cheldelin to end the third with Redlands leading by a score of 43-40.

Although the Bulldogs let the slight advantage slip away, Cheldelin took matters into her own hands by tying up the game at 45-all with a clutch bucket off the backboard.

Farry and Chen remained active on both sides of the hardwood, as Farry buried another short-corner jumper and Chen pick-pocketed a Crusader for a breakaway bucket with 4:14 remaining. M. Silver put the Bulldogs up by two with a lay-up on the ensuing possession.

Now leading 51-49 with 3:39 left on the clock, the Bulldogs gritted their teeth and became remarkably fundamental by notching clutch baskets down the stretch. Cheldelin was money in the latter minutes of the fourth period, scoring four critical points, while Dixon and Farry combined for three points at the charity stripe en route to the home team's 58-53 win.

Overall, Cheldelin was on fire for Redlands by dropping a team-high 17 points to go along with three rebounds and two steals. Ta'amu notched a double-double on the night with 11 points and 12 boards – seven of which came on the offensive end. Farry was one rebound shy of a double-double after tallying 11 points and nine rebounds.

The Bulldogs took advantage of Dallas' 12 turnovers, as they capitalized for 16 points. In addition, Redlands dominated the paint for 28 points.

Redlands (2-1) faces off against the George Fox University Bruins (OR) on Friday, November 27, at the UC Santa Cruz Thanksgiving Classic in Santa Cruz at 5 p.m.

The Master's vs. Chapman:

In tonight's earlier game, the NAIA's 14th-ranked Master's College dominated the Chapman University Panthers in an impressive offensive display that was highlighted by a 50% effort from the floor. While shooting better than 60% in three of four quarters, the Mustangs cruised to an 86-53 victory.

The Mustangs boasted five players in double figures, with Ashley Bartow leading the effort with 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting. Three of TMC's starters added 12 points each.

Megan Charles paced the Panthers with 12 points, which included and 8-for-10 effort from the stripe.

2015 Redlands Tip-Off Classic All-Tournament Team:

#21 Bianca Cubello - The Master's College

#24 Ashley Bartow - The Master's College

#42 Megan Charles - Chapman University

#25 Brinsley Farry - University of Redlands

#34 Reyna Ta'amu - University of Redlands