Four out of five starters for the University of Redlands men's basketball team scored double-figures in an 83-73 victory at Occidental College in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opener on Wednesday night.
The Tigers began the game with momentum by opening up a 22-12 lead at the 12:32-mark of the first half. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs made a pair of hustle plays with offensive rebounds from junior guard Jack Roggin (Toluca Lake, CA) and senior forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA) that led to five points to cut the deficit to 22-17 with 11:11 to go.
A few minutes later, first-year forward Griffin Barker (Kirkland, WA) converted a layup and then both his free throws on the Bulldogs' next possession, which knotted the game at 27-27.
The Maroon and Gray took control of their first lead of the game since the opening bucket when Menary stepped back for the trey for a 30-27 advantage with 7:57 remaining in the half.
Although Occidental slimmed its deficit to four points, the Bulldogs still went into the half with a 42-38 advantage.
Menary came out of the break on fire with 11 consecutive points for Redlands, including three treys, to open up a 53-44 lead less than two minutes in. Just over a minute later, sophomore forward Kameron Wright (Fontana, CA) knocked down a layup to help the Maroon and Gray take their first double-digit lead of the game at 55-44 with 16:55 on the clock.
The Redlands defense took over, as they held the Tigers scoreless for nearly five minutes of game time.
Despite Occidental eventually cutting the lead back down to single-digits, the Bulldogs' defense continued to lead to offense, as sophomore wing Gary Menary (Grass Valley, CA) stole the ball and dished it up to Roggin for the Bulldogs' largest lead of the game at 74-60 with 5:29 left.
Wright closed the game out strong with seven points, three rebounds, and a steal to help the Maroon and Gray cement their 83-73 victory.
D. Menary led the Bulldogs in scoring with 20 points, in addition to four assists, two steals, and two blocks. Wright registered a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards in 19 minutes. Hass and G. Menary also scored in double-figures with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
As a team, the Bulldogs shot 46.9% from the field and 43.5% from behind the arc. They also earned 16 points off of turnovers and outscored the Tigers' bench, 21-13.
Redlands (5-1, 1-0 SCIAC) returns home for a non-conference game against University of Puget Sound (WA) on Saturday, December 7, at 2 p.m.