After an explosive first half, it came down to the wire but the University of Redlands men's basketball team grabbed a thrilling 67-62 victory over Caltech Saturday evening.
The Bulldogs improve to 10-5 on the year and 3-3 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), while the Beavers drop to 5-10, 3-3 in the SCIAC.
Redlands opened the game with a 9-0 run after junior guard Jack Roggin (Toluca Lake, CA) found senior forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA) just outside the key for the first two points of the night. Senior wing Brittian Foster (Long Beach, CA), junior forward Parker Landolf (Alamo, CA) and senior guard Hass Berry (Riverside, CA) also got in on the scoring to give the Bulldogs the early lead.
Caltech managed to cut the deficit to just two points, but Landolf kept some distance for Redlands, banking in a jumper to put his team in front 18-14. It sparked a 10-0 run as the Bulldogs extended their lead to 26-14 with just under eight minutes left in the half. Foster came up big in the run, making a block on defense, grabbing the rebound and then driving to the basket to force a Caltech timeout.
The Beavers tried to chip away at the lead, but a put-back from Landolf just before the buzzer put the Bulldogs in front 39-28 at the break. Redlands had momentum in its favor, shooting an impressive 53.1-percent (17-for-32) from the floor in the half, and looked to build on that in the second.
Menary kept things rolling for the Bulldogs and scored off his own put-back for the first points of the second half, 41-28. Sophomore guard Colin Au (Rolling Hills Estates, CA) gave Redlands a 15-point cushion less than five minutes into the frame, draining a shot from beyond the arc off a Menary assist, 46-31.
Things got interesting with 13 minutes remaining as Caltech put together a 13-0 run to pull within just two points.
Menary got Redlands back on track with a triple off an assist from Roggin, keeping his team in front 54-49 with under nine minutes to go.
Intensity built as the Beavers took a 60-54 lead heading down the stretch, but the Bulldogs stayed in it, determined to get their momentum back.
Landolf drew a foul with two minutes to go and hit both his free throws, before tipping in a missed shot to put Redlands within reach, 62-60. With less than 60 seconds to go, junior guard Vincenzo Ferrari (Burlingame, CA) came up with perhaps the play of the game for the Bulldogs, stealing the ball away and draining a trey to put his team back in front 63-62.
When shots didn't fall its way, Caltech had no choice but to try to foul to get the ball back, but Roggin and Berry sank their chances at the charity stripe to seal the victory 67-62.
Three Bulldogs finished the night in double figures, led by Landolf's 16-point (6-for-10) performance off the bench. Menary followed with 14 points, while Roggin chipped in another 11 points.
Roggin grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to finish the night with a double-double and help Redlands win the glass 45-to-36.
The Bulldogs head to Chapman University Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip, looking to build off tonight's thriller.