The University of Redlands women's basketball team squared off against the visiting Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in Currier Gym on Wednesday night. After completing the first quarter with a slight lead, the Bulldogs struggled to maintain that momentum due to a difficult shooting night, which resulted in a 45-58 loss against the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe.
Although CMS grabbed an early 4-2 lead, the Bulldogs quickly responded by playing tough inside to gain multiple trips to the charity stripe. Senior forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) and sophomore guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) made the most of these opportunities to put Redlands up by a score of 9-4 at the 5:24-mark.
Despite back-to-back buckets by the Athenas, senior forward Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA) stepped back for a three-pointer off of senior guard Caitlyn Dixon's (Seattle, WA) dime of a pass for the Bulldogs' 12-8 advantage with 3:55 to go in the first quarter. More Redlands free-throws and a Siksnus lay-up gave the home team a slight 16-13 lead after 10 minutes of action.
Redlands stretched that to five points early in the second quarter when Lacey pulled up for a nothing-but-net jumper. First-year forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) made her presence known off the bench with a block and a jumper off of another Dixon assist before Ta'amu scored a jumper to make it 22-19 with 6:14 left in the second stanza.
Unfortunately, the Bulldog offense went cold and mustered only one more bucket before halftime, while CMS scored eight points for the 27-24 lead.
Nonetheless, Redlands sat in position to battle in the third quarter of the one-possession game.
But, CMS had other plans, as the visiting team put together a 12-2 run over the first five minutes of the third quarter before Dixon found Siksnus for a much-needed trey-ball to move the Bulldogs within 10 points. A pair of Lacey free-throws cut it to eight, as Redlands fought to keep its deficit under 10. Dixon's last-second three-pointer off of senior forward Megan Fortenberry's (Riverside, CA) quick pass breathed new life into the home team, as the Bulldogs entered the fourth quarter down by only seven at 38-45.
However, every time Redlands rallied to make it a two-possession game throughout the final 10 minutes, CMS came up with the necessary answer to keep the Bulldogs at bay. After Lacey's lay-up at the 4:04-mark made it 43-49, CMS held Redlands scoreless over the next two minutes. Lacey ended the Bulldogs' drought by converting a pair of free-throws to cut it to 45-50 with 2:06 remaining.
But an offensive cold streak late in the game plagued the Bulldogs, which forced them to foul and left them on the losing end of this one.
Lacey posted a game-high 18 points while adding four rebounds, two steals, and one assist. Ta'amu supplied 12 points and nine rebounds, as Siksnus chipped in 10 points and four boards.
Redlands (10-9, 5-5 SCIAC) takes to the road for its next two games, beginning with Whittier College on Saturday, January 27, at 7 p.m.