The University of Redlands women's basketball team continued Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action against the University of La Verne Leopards in Currier Gym on Saturday night. In a game that saw Redlands ahead with a comfortable lead for the majority of the contest, the Maroon and Gray successfully held off a Leopard comeback in the fourth quarter to grab a physical, 64-61 win.
The Bulldogs established an aggressive nature early on by making it to the charity stripe on the first two possessions of the contest. Junior guard Selena Iriarte (Wilmington, CA) tallied the opening two points from the line, followed by a free-throw from sophomore forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA). Sophomore guard Courtney Chen (La Canada, CA) contributed early on by notching back-to-back lay-ups shortly after to give the Bulldogs an early 7-2 cushion.
After the Leopards tied the game up at nine-all exiting a timeout taken by Redlands, junior guard Jade Cheldelin (Portland, OR) put the Bulldogs back up by two points with a rising jumper. Freshman guard Yoemma Esparza (Shafter, CA) capped off the first quarter by notching two buckets, with the last one coming at the buzzer, to give the Bulldogs a 19-16 lead.
After the Leopards moved ahead in the second quarter around the six-minute-mark, sophomore guard Brooke Hulett (Poway, CA) drained a trey-ball with a hand in her face to knot up the score at 22-all. After the Leopards answered with a three-pointer, sophomore guard Angela Silver (Scotts Valley, CA) put the Bulldogs back on top with a lay-up at 26-25 that rode into the third frame.
Ta'amu continued to provide Redlands with the advantage offensively by notching two-consecutive buckets to kick off the third quarter. Sophomore guard Caitlin Dixon (Seattle, WA) began to put on a shooting clinic from beyond the arc, as she flushed two-consecutive three-pointers to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 44-34 with 2:24 remaining in the third stanza. Senior forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) and Dixon polished off the scoring in the third by going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to boast a 48-36 Bulldog lead.
The Leopards refused to go away and made a solid attempt at a comeback, as they held the ball for the opening two minutes of the fourth quarter and finally converted on a three-pointer.
But Cheldelin responded by hitting a jumper shortly after, while Ta'amu stepped up for a 3-for-4 showing from the charity stripe to maintain a comfortable lead at 53-41 with a hair over six minutes remaining.
The Bulldogs continued to fight, but the Leopards worked to trim down the deficit to five points with a smidge over one minute remaining in the game. Farry axed the comeback attempt by drilling a shot from downtown and then followed it up with a free throw en route to the 64-61 victory.
Farry notched a double-double on the night by dropping 10 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Chen led all Bulldog scorers with 14 points, to go along with three assists.
Ta'amu was solid in her return from injury by notching eight points. Sophomore guard Allison Siksnus (Placienta, CA) led the bench brigade in scoring with eight points, which included a 4-for-5 mark from the free-throw line.
The Bulldogs outshot the Leopard with a 46.7 shooting percentage, 44.4 three–point shooting percentage, and a 72 percent mark from the line. In addition, the Bulldogs dominated in the paint by outscoring the Leopards by a 24-16 ratio.
The Bulldogs (6-8, 3-2 SCIAC) take to the road on Tuesday, January 19, for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Athenas (11-4, 6-0 SCIAC). Due to construction on CMS' campus, this game will be played at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges' Rains Center.