The University of Redlands men's basketball team shook off the post-winter-break cobwebs by taking on NCAA Division II opponent, Cal State San Bernardino, in an exhibition match on Sunday afternoon at Coussoulis Arena. After growing a 20-point lead, the Bulldogs faced a relentless Coyote squad that closed the gap, but Redlands ultimately came away with the 61-59 victory.
The Coyotes converted a free throw in the opening minute to score the first point of the game, but the Maroon and Gray immediately responded with a 7-0 run that forced a CSUSB timeout and lineup change. After back-to-back buckets by junior forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA), sophomore forward Parker Landolf (Alamo, CA) knocked down a three-pointer off junior guard Hass Berry's (Riverside, CA) sweet pass.
Four minutes later, Redlands owned a 15-7 advantage, with first-year forward Gary Menary (Grass Valley, CA) making a big play on both ends of the court. First, he stole the ball and then stepped back for the successful trey-ball off senior guard Joey Sponheim's (Redlands, CA) assist.
However, the Bulldogs' offense endured a cold spell over the next few minutes, which allowed the Coyotes to regain the lead at 19-17 by the 5:58-mark.
But Redlands' deficit was short-lived, as the Maroon and Gray orchestrated a 12-1 run to finish out the half with a 29-20 lead. The Bulldogs gained points from five different players, with sophomore guard Michael Hanna (Murrieta, CA) starting things off with a three-pointer that stemmed from G. Menary's offensive board and D. Menary's assist. In addition, senior wing Brittian Foster (Long Beach, CA) closed the scoring spree with a pair of buckets.
G. Menary registered the first five Bulldog points of the second half before Redlands reaped the benefits of a diversified and efficient offense. In addition, the Maroon and Gray's defense minimized the Coyotes' gains, which helped to inspire the Bulldogs' 50-30 lead by the 12:15-mark.
Nonetheless, CSUCB refused to go away and managed to claw its way back into the game. By the final minute, Redlands led by only two points but held off the home team's late push. Hanna came up with the Maroon and Gray's final four points to keep the Coyotes at bay for his team's hard-fought win.
D. Menary paced the Bulldogs with 12 points while adding five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Hanna chipped in 11 points, as G. Menary added nine points and seven boards. Foster led the Bulldog bench by scoring 11 of its 20 points. He also hauled in five rebounds.
Overall, Redlands forced the Coyotes into 19 turnovers, which resulted in 20 points for the Maroon and Gray.
Redlands (6-4) returns to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Wednesday, January 2, when it heads to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges for a 7 p.m. tip-off against the Sagehens.