The University of Redlands women's basketball team took to the road to face Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe, the University of La Verne, on Wednesday night. After a high-scoring, opening two quarters for both teams, Redlands managed to stay balanced on offense and defense to outscore the Leopards, 38-22, in the final two stanzas for the solid, 81-62 victory.
The Leopards started out hot by sinking back-to-back three-pointers to put Redlands in a 2-6 hole early on. Sophomore guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) hit a jumper off of a nice dish from senior guard Caitlyn Dixon (Seattle, WA) to spark the Maroon and Gray's comeback. On the ensuing possession, senior forward Angela Silver (Scotts Valley, CA) found Dixon for a trey-ball to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the night at 7-6.
The Leopards subsequently went on a 21-8 run to force Redlands into an eight-point deficit at the 2:35-mark of the first. But Redlands didn't secede that easily, as timely jumpers from first-year forwards Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) and Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) and a late-quarter basket from downtown by first-year guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA) kept the Bulldogs in the game. With Lacey scoring a team-high 10 points, Redlands trailed only by two at 27-29 by the end of the first quarter.
La Verne started the second quarter with newfound energy that had the Bulldogs looking at their largest deficit of the night at 29-40 with 6:02 left in the half. Redlands refused to waiver and worked to turn its offensive rhythm around. Redlands' attempts successfully swished through the net just as La Verne's shooting percentage took a nose dive, which allowed Silver to snag five defensive boards en route to her career-high, 13-rebound night.
Tied at 40 late in the second stanza, Dixon hit a basket from beyond the arc with eight seconds left to give the Maroon and Gray a slight, 43-40 lead at the break.
Although the third quarter saw low field-goal percentages from both teams, Redlands stayed competitive by converting free-throws and extending its advantage to 59-51 at the start of the fourth.
This time it was the Bulldogs who sparked, as they shot an awesome 60% to La Verne's 17.6% to close out the game. The Maroon and Gray kicked off the final quarter on a 9-4 run that included points from Lacey and senior forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) and culminated in another Dixon three-pointer.
In the final minute of the game, senior forward Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA), senior guard Courtney Chen (La Canada, CA), and senior forward Megan Fortenberry (Riverside, CA) provided quality trips to the charity stripe to give Redlands its largest lead at 19 points en route to the 81-62 victory.
Lacey provided a career-high 25 points in just her second season as a Bulldog. Dixon topped her career by adding 15 points. Ta'amu also had an outstanding night by chipping in 16 points while hauling in eight rebounds. Silver shined on the defensive end of the court with a career-high 13 rebounds. She also led the team with seven assists.
Redlands (8-7, 4-3 SCIAC) strives to add wins on the road when it travels to Cal Lutheran University to take on the Regals on Saturday, January 13, in a 4 p.m. tip-off.