The University of Redlands women's basketball team tipped off the 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday evening by hosting La Sierra University in a non-conference tilt. While shooting 47.3% for the game, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-0 lead and stayed in front for the duration to secure a 74-58 victory over the Golden Eagles in Currier Gym.
The Maroon and Gray came out firing on all cylinders and knocked down its first five shots to earn an early 12-4 advantage. Senior forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) set the tone early by driving the lane for a Bulldog lay-up off of an assist from senior guard Caitlyn Dixon (Seattle, WA). On the team's subsequent possession, sophomore guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) found an open Dixon on the perimeter for the three-pointer. The Bulldogs kept clicking, as Lacey and Ta'amu rolled in lay-ups before senior guard Joy Adlao (Hacienda Heights, CA) hit nothing but net on a trey ball with 6:17 left in the opening quarter.
However, La Sierra battled back to cut the deficit to two points at 14-16 by the end of the quarter.
Five minutes into the second quarter, Redlands remained in front at 21-19 before unleashing an 11-0 run to significantly extend its advantage. As the Maroon and Gray stepped up its defensive effort to force the Golden Eagles into poor shots, the home team also took care of business on the other end of the floor. Senior forward Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA) hit three free throws and converted a lay-up off of a dime of a pass from Dixon, while first-year guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA), Ta'amu, and Lacey each contributed two points to the scoring spurt as well.
Up by 10 at the start of the third quarter, Redlands held a double-digit lead for most of the opening five minutes. But La Sierra refused to go away and eventually made it a one-possession game with quality shots from downtown. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs kept their composure and managed to turn the tide with well-timed buckets from Ta'amu, Adlao, and first-year forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA), with senior forward Angela Silver (Scotts Valley, CA) and Dixon providing perfectly-placed assists.
With a 53-46 advantage and 10 minutes to go, Redlands cruised to the victory by holding La Sierra to a 7.7% shooting display. In addition, the Bulldogs crushed it on offense with a 54.5% effort in the final quarter. Mosely led the final push with eight points in the fourth frame, while Lee added six on a pair of three-pointers.
Overall, Ta'amu paced the home team with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while Mosely finished with 12 points in her Bulldog debut. Siksnus and Lee each chipped in 11 points, as Dixon and Lacey combined for 10 assists.
Redlands (1-0) looks forward to hosting the 2017 Tip-Off Classic on Friday, November 17, and Saturday, November 18. The Bulldogs take on McMurry University (TX) in the 7 p.m. on Friday night in Currier Gym.