In a back-and-forth contest that included 10 ties and eight lead-changes, the University of Redlands women's basketball team suffered a 60-67 loss to the Cal Lutheran University Regals in Saturday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game in Thousand Oaks. Despite shooting 45.8% overall, the Bulldogs suffered a three-minute scoring drought in the final quarter that proved to be the difference in a tight contest.
After going down early, the Bulldogs rallied to tie it up at 14-all with junior guard Selena Iriarte (Wilmington, CA) scoring five-consecutive points. Although CLU rebuilt its lead to four points, Redlands gained key defensive plays to set up baskets by sophomore guard Angela Silver (Scotts Valley, CA) and senior forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) to make it a one-point game at the end of the first quarter.
Despite CLU's quick 5-0 run to start the second stanza, the rest of the quarter belonged to the Bulldogs, who out-scored the Regals, 18-11 with a well-balanced attack. Junior forward Sydney Bennett (Agoura Hills, CA) initiated the revitalized offense, before sophomore guard Brooke Hulett (Poway, CA) knocked down a three-pointer. Sophomore guard Courtney Chen (La Canada, CA)) and Bennett continued the offensive spurt to make it 27-23 in Redlands' favor at the 5:49-mark. Bennett, Silver, and Hulett remained hot to extend Redlands' lead to 36-30 at the midway point of the game.
Junior guard Jade Cheldelin (Portland, OR) knocked down the opening jumper of the third quarter, stretching the Bulldogs' advantage to 38-30. However, the Regals regained their offensive rhythm to tie it up at 38 less than four minutes later.
The game continued in back-and-forth fashion, resulting in another knotted score at 60-all with 3:08 left in the final quarter. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, their offense stuttered and forced them to foul in the final seconds, which led to the seven-point loss.
Redlands converted 22 of 48 shots for a 45.8% showing, but CLU knocked down five more shots on the night while taking advantage of second-chance opportunities.
Cheldelin led the Maroon and Gray with 12 points, as Iriarte and Hulett each chipped in eight points, and sophomore guard Caitlyn Dixon (Seattle, WA)) and Bennett scored seven points apiece. Farry pulled in seven rebounds, dished out four assists, and scored five points. Chen distributed six of the team's 14 assists.
Redlands (7-11, 4-5 SCIAC) returns home to Currier Gym on Tuesday, February 2, to square off against the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at 7:30 p.m.