After a historic regular season, the University of Redlands women's basketball team enters the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament as the No. 1 seed with an overall mark of 19-6 and a 14-2 conference record. The Bulldogs not only own the most conference wins in Redlands history but they have locked down sole possession of the No. 1 seed for the first time since the tournament's inception in 2008. Redlands welcomes fourth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Colleges to Currier Gym on Thursday, February 27, at 7 p.m. for semifinal action.
These two adversaries met twice earlier this season and each team was victorious on the other's home court. In early January, junior forward Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) led the team to a 78-56 win with a double-double on a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Hannah Jerrier (Canton, MA) registered four blocks and a steal to anchor the defense. A little less than a month later, Redlands led for three quarters in Currier Gym before Pomona-Pitzer rallied back to steal the 72-65 win. In each game, the Maroon and Gray held an 18-plus advantage on the glass.
This season, the Bulldogs got off to their best start in program history with a 9-0 record to begin conference action. Despite a road loss to halt the streak, the Maroon and Gray went on to win five out of its final six games to clinch the SCIAC regular-season title with a three-game cushion.
Offensively, the Bulldogs enter the tournament as the most dangerous perimeter team with a conference-leading 32.3% from behind the arc. In addition, Redlands has outscored their opponents' bench in 19 out of its 25 games while earning an 8.8 bench-scoring differential for the season.
Individually, sophomore guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA) and senior guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) account for 39.2% of the Maroon and Gray's offense against conference opponents. Lacey paces the team with 13.3 points per game while Downs closely follows at 12.9.
No. 4 Pomona-Pitzer turned a 1-4 start into a 15-10 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the SCIAC. After their slow start, the Sagehens went on a five-game win streak over the next month, including a come-from-behind victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. After bouncing back from a mid-season, lull, Pomona-Pitzer ended the season with a strong 4-1 push to slide into the fourth slot of a tightly-contested postseason race.
The Sagehens enter Thursday's contest slightly behind Redlands in three-point shooting at 32.2% for the season. Furthermore, they spread the ball around well by leading the conference with 14.3 assists per SCIAC game.
Individually, sophomore guard Carly Leong (Palo Alto, CA) owns a team-best 14.8 points per game in conference. She also ranks second on the team with a 42.9 three-point shooting clip, while sophomore guard Madison Quan (Los Angeles, CA) tops the SCIAC at 40.1% overall. Quan also produces a team-high 3.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
In the No. 2-versus-No. 3 semifinal, the Poets of Whittier College host the Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Thursday, February 27, at 7 p.m. Both teams went 3-1 to finish out the regular season, with each losing to Redlands.
The winners of Thursday's contests advance to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament final on the campus of the highest remaining seed on Saturday, February 29. The time of tip-off will be determined by the host.
Live stats and streaming will be available for all tournament games through the SCIAC Portal.
Ticket prices for admission to SCIAC Postseason Tournament matches are set by the conference and are as follows:
Spectators w/ current SCIAC ID (Students, Faculty, Staff) – Free
Children 12 and under – Free
Seniors (55 and older) & Military Personnel - $5
General Admission - $10