The University of Redlands women's basketball team jumped back into the win column on Tuesday night by taking an early lead and never looking back en route to a 61-54 victory over the visiting Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges.
After the teams traded baskets in the opening minutes, Redlands rattled off an 8-0 run to take an 11-4 lead with 70 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Courtney Chen (La Canada, CA) provided four points in the Bulldogs' early spurt.
Although Pomona-Pitzer cut the deficit to three on the first possession of the second stanza, Redlands gained back-to-back baskets from senior forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) and senior guard Ashton Beth (Windsor, CA) to regain an eight-point lead.
Despite the Sagehens' multiple trips to the free-throw line, the Bulldogs stayed in front, thanks in part to a nothing-but-net three-pointer from junior guard Jade Cheldelin (Portland, OR) to make it 21-14 with 5:04 left in the second quarter.
Sophomore guard Brooke Hulett (Poway, CA) kept things rolling from beyond the arc, as she fired off consecutive three-pointers for the Bulldogs' 30-22 lead.
After a last-second lay-up by sophomore forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA), the Bulldogs headed into the locker room with a 32-24 advantage.
Although Pomona-Pitzer came out on fire in the third quarter, Redlands kept its composure and the lead throughout the frame. The Bulldogs looked to a well-balanced attack to counter the Sagehens' hot hand, as junior guard Yoemma Esparza (Shafter, CA) stepped up with a critical and-one play to make it 41-36 with 4:49 left on the clock. She added another lay-up three minutes later.
Up by six with 10 minutes to play, Beth hit the opening lay-up, before Farry and Cheldelin provided critical free-throws to keep the Maroon and Gray in front.
A late Sagehen trey-ball made it a four-point game, but Farry came up clutch with a big jumper at the 48-second mark. Forced to foul, Pomona-Pitzer twice sent Chen to the line, where she sank three attempts, leading to the 61-54 Bulldog victory.
Farry registered the first double-double of her career in a solid night. She led all players with 17 points, which came off of 8-for-15 shooting. She snagged 11 rebounds, including a few critical ones down the stretch.
Cheldelin and Chen backed her with 14 and 11 points, respectively. The duo also provided five of the team's 11 assists.
Overall, both teams put up similar shooting percentages, with Pomona-Pitzer gaining the slight at edge at 39.2%, as compared to Redlands' showing of 38.3%. In addition, the Bulldogs produced seven fewer turnovers than the Sagehens and capitalized on the opponents' miscues for 15 points.
With the win, Redlands (8-11, 5-5 SCIAC) moves into a tie-for-fourth place with Pomona-Pitzer in the SCIAC standings. The Bulldogs head to Occidental College on Tuesday, February 9, for a 7:30 p.m. showdown against the Tigers.