Redlands and Edgewood Capture Difficult Victories during Final Day of the 2011 Winter Classic
The University of Redlands women's basketball team provided an undefeated showing at its own Winter Classic with Friday's 58-51 win over the Pioneers of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Despite a slow start that saw the Bulldogs shoot only 29.6% in the first half, Redlands relied on triple-digit scoring from three starters to nab the team's fourth victory in a row.
In a back-and-forth game that saw two ties and six lead-changes, the Bulldogs prevailed with big defensive plays and solid free-throw shooting.
After nabbing an early 6-2 lead, Redlands saw the Pioneers storm back with an 8-0 run for the lead at 10:51 to go in the opening frame.
The Bulldogs eventually answered by earning an eight-point advantage late in the period when senior forward Courtney Carroll (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) knocked down a layup. She finished with a game-high 20 points.
However, UW-Platteville rallied back with a 7-1 run to cut the deficit to only two at halftime.
Redlands earned a seven-point lead less than two minutes into the second stanza, but the Pioneers quickly answered with an 11-0 run to make it 35-31 at the 13:18-mark.
Down by eight with 8:26 to go, Redlands gained a pair of timely three-pointers from junior guard Ashley Sevilla (San Diego, CA), who knocked in consecutive attempts to tie up the score at 42 with 5:52 left on the clock.
Following one more lead-change less than two minutes later, the Bulldogs controlled the scoreboard through the final whistle, with Carroll converting critical shots down the stretch.
Redlands went 14-for-18 at the line, while the Pioneers only converted five of their 13 attempts.
The Bulldogs also won the rebounding battle, recording 44 to UW-Platteville's 33.
In addition to Carroll's 20-point performance, Redlands gained 14 points apiece from sophomore forward Brittany Oster (Agoura Hills, CA) and Sevilla. Carroll also led all players with 12 rebounds while providing four assists. Oster, senior guard Mariah Barbetti-Cort (Ventura, CA) and freshman guard Kaity Lykins (Simi Valley, CA) pulled in eight rebounds each.
UW-Platteville (6-7) gained a solid performance off the bench from sophomore center Kim Wellnitz, who led her team with 15 points. Junior forward Ashley Henry chipped in seven points and nine rebounds.
Redlands (6-4) faces a full slate of competition during the first week of 2012, hosting Chapman University on Tuesday at 7 p.m. before jumping into conference action on Thursday and Saturday.
During the day's opening competition, Edgewood College (WI) snuck by the Banana Slugs of UC Santa Cruz by registering a 37-34 victory. The Eagles scraped out a tight win, which also set a school record for the fewest points scored in a victory.
By leading wire-to-wire, Edgewood overcame a difficult night of shooting with persistent rebounding. The Eagles held a 56-49 advantage, including two more on the offensive end. Edgewood also converted three additional attempts at the free-throw line, perhaps providing the difference in a challenging game.
Senior forward Melanie Walker and junior forward Alison Tobin headlined the Eagles' winning effort by combining for 56% of the team's points. Walker was solid from the stripe, hitting six of eight, while Tobin came up clutch for the Eagles when she hit the squad's final three points.
For the second consecutive game, freshman forward Sarah Mackey was a force on the defensive end for the Banana Slugs, rejecting an impressive eight shots. Coming off of the bench for Santa Cruz, senior guard Alison Scarbrough posted a team-high 10 points, highlighted by a perfect 5-for-5 performance at the free throw line.
The Redlands Winter Classic All-Tournament team included Sarah Mackey (UC Santa Cruz), Melanie Walker (Edgewood), Ashley Henry (UW-Platteville), Mariah Barbetti-Cort (Redlands) and Courtney Carroll (Redlands).