In a non-conference bout against Southern Virginia University (VA) at the Pat Deacon Classic Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky, the University of Redlands women's basketball team fought hard but fell, 71-79.
The Knights began the game on a run, but the Maroon and Gray stormed back to come to within one possession by the end of the first quarter. Facing a nine-point deficit at the 1:23-mark, sophomore Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA) knocked down a mid-range jumper and then dished the ball to first-year Alexis Machain (San Diego, CA), who drained a three-pointer to make it 13-17 with 48 seconds left in the period. After a solid defensive stop, sophomore forward Hannah Jerrier (Canton, MA) sank a jumper to cut the deficit to 15-17 after 10 minutes of action.
First-year guard Angelina Roque (San Diego, CA) knocked down a couple of free throws less than two minutes into the second quarter to knot the game at 17, but the Knights uncorked a 16-0 run over the next five minutes to build a 17-33 advantage.
At the 2:31-point, first-year forward Julia Balesteri (Pleasanton, CA) checked in and helped the Bulldogs close the half out strong. She converted a pair of layups and then blocked a shot in her first minute of action. She also connected on a pair of free throws to help make it 29-38 at the break.
Midway through the third, Downs stepped back for a trey that sparked a 7-1 run that slimmed the lead down to 39-47. Despite the surge by the Bulldogs, Southern Virginia closed the quarter with a 56-41 lead.
Nonetheless, Downs opened up the fourth period with a deep ball after an offensive rebound. Balesteri continued to show her dominance on the defensive end with a block on the ensuing possession. The Maroon and Gray slowly began to chip away at the deficit, aided by first-year guard Marisa Urbano-Sedlund (San Diego, CA), who knocked down a trey to make it 49-64 with 6:11 left to play.
The momentum continued to shift in the direction of the Bulldogs after back-to-back three-pointers from junior guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA) and Downs to make it a 14-point game at the 4:47 mark.
With 2:28 on the clock, Jerrier corralled an offensive rebound and put it back up for the score to bring the Bulldogs to within single digits at 63-71. The Maroon and Gray clamped down on the defensive end, allowing their offense to bring the game to 67-71 after Urbano-Sedlund drained a jumper out of a timeout with 23 seconds remaining.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs were forced to foul and the Knights converted all eight of their free throws in the closing seconds to seal the 79-71 victory.
Downs led the Bulldogs with 25 points while registering four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Off the bench, Balesteri dropped in 10 points, tallied four rebounds, and three blocks.
Redlands (3-2) moves on to face host Transylvania University on Saturday, November 30, at 1 p.m. PST.