The University of Redlands men's basketball team took the short drive to the University of La Verne to take on the Leopards in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match-up. In a close game with similar totals in nearly every statistical category, the Bulldogs got it done from three-point range by knocking down twice as many as the Leopards en route to the 79-73 victory.
Although La Verne jumped on the board first, first-year forward Parker Landolf (Alamo, CA) hit a jumper that was followed by a trey-ball off the hands of sophomore guard Hass Berry (Riverside, CA) to tie the game early at five-all.
With 16:21 to go in the first, sophomore forward Brittian Foster (Long Beach, CA) put up a block that ended up in the hands of Berry for the rebound. The Bulldogs turned that huge defensive play into immediate points, as sophomore forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA) laid it in for the score off a nice assist from Berry.
Four minutes later, the Bulldogs took their first lead of the night at 15-14 with a lay-up from Foster. Unfortunately for the visiting team, La Verne answered with a 17-9 run that put Redlands in its biggest hole of the game at 24-31 with 5:34 remaining in the first.
Despite the deficit, Redlands turned things around in a hurry, as first-year forward Jordan Holden (Anaheim, CA) hit a bucket from downtown to close the gap. On the ensuing play, senior guard Kyle Hamane (Pasadena, CA) swiped a steal that led to a junior guard Joey Sponheim (Redlands, CA) three-pointer. Impressively, Holden hit his second trey-ball in 90 seconds to even the tally at 33. Menary assisted on all three plays from downtown before Holden subsequently converted his next lay-up to give Redlands the slight lead.
A tight battle ensued, with the game inching towards halftime when senior forward Blake O'Brien (Sammamish, WA) threw in a late jumper for Redlands' 40-37 advantage at the break.
Menary started the second half off strong by scoring the Bulldogs' first nine points. Foster, Menary, Berry, and first-year guard Michael Hanna (Murrieta, CA) combined for Redlands' following 13 points to put Redlands in front at 63-53 with 9:44 left to go in the game. Berry hit yet another three-point shot, while Foster buried two free throws to cap off the scoring spurt.
After three minutes of scoreless action, La Verne's attempts finally began to fall and closed the gap to four points at 60-64.
However, Holden put an end to that comeback by hitting his third and final bucket from beyond the arc to put the Bulldogs back up by seven. Although Holden was done with his threes, Berry supplied two more in the final three minutes of the game to help the visiting team stay on top. Menary capped things off with two made free throws that landed him a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe on the night.
Menary recorded yet another double-double with tonight's effort coming off of 22 points and 10 rebounds, plus six assists. Berry also impressed with 17 points off of 6-for-9 shooting with five three-pointers. Foster and Holden supplied a combined 24 points off the bench.
The Bulldogs (6-16, 4-9 SCIAC) look to remain in the win column as they head to Caltech on Saturday, February 10, for a 5 p.m. tip-off.