In an exciting regular-season finale against Caltech, the University of Redlands women's basketball team punched its ticket to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament with a go-ahead jumper from junior guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) with five seconds remaining. The 52-51 win over the Beavers secured the No. 4 seed in next week's tournament.
Trailing 39-45 with 7:38 remaining in the game, the Bulldogs faced an uphill battle in the fourth quarter. Lacey stepped back to hit a huge jumper that made it a four-point game. After the teams traded buckets, first-year guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA) connected on five consecutive points to cut the deficit to 48-49 with 3:40 remaining. The Beavers pulled back ahead by three, but Lacey answered with a jumper at the 1:50-mark to make it 50-51.
The Maroon and Gray defense came up with a crucial stop by forcing a missed three-pointer that was corralled by sophomore guard Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) for her 12th rebound of the contest.
Coming out of a timeout with 21 seconds left, the Bulldogs designed a play to run out the clock and go for the win. With five seconds remaining, Lacey rose to the occasion and sank the game-winning jumper for the thrilling, must-win result to extend Redlands' season.
Earlier in the game, the Bulldogs' first-quarter deficit was erased with 5:27 left in the second when Downs knocked down a jumper to tie the game at 19-19.
Over the next several minutes, junior guard Lindsay Kilgore (Mira Loma, CA) got hot on the offensive end, beginning with a go-ahead triple at 22-19. On the ensuing Bulldog possession, she knocked down a mid-range jumper before stepping behind the arc for her second trey of the game to give Redlands a 27-24 edge. To complete her electrifying run, she drained her 11th consecutive point in four minutes for the Maroon and Gray's 30-26 lead with just over a minute to go in the stanza.
As time expired on the second quarter, Lacey capitalized on the momentum and knocked down a jumper off of an out-of-bounds play to send her team into the break with a 32-29 advantage.
For the game, Lacey scored eight fourth-quarter points en route to 17 on the night. Downs added 14 points to her eight rebounds and two assists, while Dack reeled in 12 rebounds in 22 minutes. Kilgore caught fire off the bench for a career-high 11 points. First-year forward Hannah Jerrier (Canton, MA) also provided quality minutes off the bench with five rebounds, two steals, and four blocks.
Both teams shot at nearly an identical clip, with the Bulldogs edging the Beavers, 38.5% to 38.3% from the field. They mirrored each other from downtown by converting 40% of their shots. The apparent difference came with Redlands' 12 points off of turnovers and 14 critical points off the bench.
Redlands (11-14, 8-8 SCIAC) prepares to face top-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on the road on Thursday, February 21, at 7 p.m.