Bulldog Women's Basketball Wins in Comeback Thriller to Open Redlands Tip-Off Classic

Caitlyn Dixon dribbling the ball vs. McMurry.
Photo credit: Maya Brito

The University of Redlands women's basketball team hosted the McMurry University (TX) War Hawks in the nightcap of Friday's Tip-Off Classic in Currier Gym. Despite being down by as many as 13 points, the Bulldogs battled back to take the hard-fought, 62-56 victory.

Although the War Hawks jumped on the board first, senior forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) matched the two points with a pair of made free-throws. McMurry then went on a 13-4 run to close out the first quarter, leaving Redlands in a significant hole.

At the 8:41-mark of the second quarter, senior forward Angela Silver (Scotts Valley, CA) swiped a steal and raced the ball back down to Redlands' basket. After the team worked the ball around the perimeter, Silver tossed up a three-pointer to chipping away at the deficit and make it 10-15.

The War Hawks continued to play tough on both sides of the ball and led Redlands, 25-15, at the half.

After a motivating halftime speech from Head Coach Rich Murphy, the Bulldogs were ready to make the necessary adjustments and execute a comeback.

Ta'amu kicked off the second half with a huge block that led to a sophomore guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) jumper. Senior guard Caitlyn Dixon (Seattle, WA) followed that up with a massive trey-ball and subsequent jumper to cut the deficit to 22-29.

Just a minute later, senior forward Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA) hit a shot from downtown off of a nice pass from Dixon. First-year forward Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) entered the game with 2:10 left to go in the third and made an immediate impact by snagging rebound after rebound. Ten seconds later, first-year guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA) drained a three-pointer off of a Ta'amu assist to cut the spread to five. Lacey and Ta'amu ended the quarter with another jumper and a lay-up to put the Bulldogs within three at 36-39.

Ta'amu started the fourth by sinking four free-throws in the first minute of the final quarter to get within one at 40-41. Although the War Hawks went on to score the next three points, Redlands was not discouraged. After another Dack rebound, Lee made a quick jumper from first-year guard Alexandria Iannone's (Fullerton, CA) perfectly-placed pass to make it a two-point game yet again.

With 6:07 left to go, Lacey threw up a crafty lay-up to tie the game at 44-44. But again McMurry came right back to score six-straight points. With grit and tenacity, the Bulldogs effectively worked to close the deficit. Ta'amu converted a free-throw and a jump shot before Dixon drained a trey-ball to make the score 50-52 with three minutes left. Lacey subsequently nailed two from the charity stripe to tie the game at 52-52.

After snagging an offensive rebound, first-year forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) made a jumper to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the night. Mosley continued to make an impact by scoring the next three points off of free throws. Through many timeouts and intentional fouls, Lacey and Dixon came up huge at the line, combining for five made free-throws in the last 20 seconds of the game to seal the amazing 62-56 comeback victory.

Lacey ended the night with 15 points, while Dixon and Ta'amu followed close behind with 13 points each. Dack impressed with a team-leading 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs (2-0) continue the Tip-Off Classic against Concordia College (MN) on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Currier Gym.