The University of Redlands women's basketball team celebrated Senior Night in style by stunning the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Athenas in a 58-51 decision on Saturday in Currier Gym. With tenacious defense and poise on offense, the Bulldogs broke a late tie to hold on for the exciting victory over the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (SCIAC) previously undefeated leader, which resulted in the Athenas' first loss since December 29.
After a tight first quarter, the Bulldogs grabbed a 16-13 lead off of a trey-ball by sophomore forward Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA) at the buzzer.
Redlands carried that momentum into the second frame to eventually build a 32-20 advantage. Seniof forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) initiated the scoring spurt with a bucket, before sophomore guard Brooke Hulett (Poway, CA) added five quick points to make it 23-19 with 7:05 left on the clock. A CMS turnover allowed the Bulldogs to extend their lead on a junior guard Jade Cheldelin (Portland, OR) jumper and another Siksnus three-pointer. As the Athenas' offense went stone cold, sophomore forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) converted a pair of free-throws, before Cheldelin drove the lane for Redlands' 12-point lead with just over three minutes to go in the first half.
Redlands maintained its double-digit advantage through the first eight minutes of the third quarter, but CMS finally responded with five quick points in their final possessions to cut the deficit in half.
Although the Athenas rallied for a late run to eventually take the lead at 41-38 with 6:57 remaining in the game, the Bulldogs kept their composure and stayed true to their game plan by breaking the full-court press and collecting multiple free-throw opportunities. The Maroon and Gray took care of business by hitting 11 of 15 from the stripe to secure the exciting win. Sophomore guard Courtney Chen (La Canada, CA), junior guard Yoemma Esparza (Shafter, CA), Cheldelin, Ta'amu, Farry, and Beth all tossed in at least one free-throw to close out the game.
Cheldelin finished with a team-high 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting. Ta'amu added 10 points, while Farry, Hulett, and Sisknus chipped in six points apiece.
Redlands won the rebounding battle with Ta'amu and Farry combining for 15 boards.
The Bulldogs (11-13, 8-7 SCIAC) head to the University of La Verne on Tuesday, February 23, for the final game of the regular season. Redlands tips off against the Leopards at 7:30 p.m., following the men's game.