The University of Redlands women's basketball team returned to the friendly confines of Currier Gymnasium where it hosted the Whittier College Poets in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game on Saturday night. Amidst a tight battle that included six ties and five lead changes, the Bulldogs outscored the Poets at the charity stripe to jump back in the win column with tonight's 56-50 victory.
Despite Whittier scoring first, the Bulldogs subsequently went on a 7-2 run that concluded with a basket from downtown by senior guard Caitlyn Dixon (Seattle, WA) off of a nice pass from sophomore guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA).
Although Whittier answered with a scoring spurt of its own, Redlands looked to senior guard Joy Adlao (Hacienda Heights, CA) to turn things around by hitting a trey-ball to pull within two at 12-14. The Poets got one more jumper off before the buzzer sounded the end of the first quarter to put the Maroon and Gray in a four-point hole.
Senior forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) impressively scored the Bulldogs' first six points of the second quarter to keep the team within striking distance at 18-21 with 5:45 to go. First-year forward Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) did her part to keep her team in the game by scoring a lay-up, dishing out an assist, and a hauling in a rebound in just one minute of action.
At the 4:07-mark, first-year guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA) drove to the basket for a lay-up that tied the score 24-24. More back-and-forth play ensued before first-year forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) hit a jumper from Lacey's perfect pass with only five seconds left to pull within two at 32-34.
Senior forward Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA) started the third quarter by muscling in a lay-up off of another Lacey assist to knot the score yet again. The Bulldogs continued to put up points, with Siksnus going 4-for-4 at the charity stripe to give the home team its biggest lead of the night at 45-36 with 5:17 left in the third. When the teams headed into the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs held a six-point advantage at 48-42.
However, the Poets took advantage of a few Bulldog miscues and eventually tied it up at 50-apiece with a little over five minutes to go in the fourth.
But Whittier's burst of energy was short-lived, as Lacey hit a nothing-but-net jumper from first-year guard Alexandria Iannone's (Fullerton, CA) dime of a pass for Redlands to overtake the lead. From here, the Bulldogs never looked back, as Ta'amu and Lacey sealed the deal at the line by making the last four free-throws of the game for the 56-50 SCIAC victory.
Ta'amu led Redlands with 17 points and eight rebounds, including five on the offensive end of the court. Lacey also impressed with a team-leading five assists to go along with 10 points and four rebounds.
After a short break, the Bulldogs (3-4, 1-2) jump back into action in Currier Gym against non-conference competitor Manchester University (IN) on Tuesday, December 19, at 7 p.m.