Bulldog Women's Basketball Opens SCIAC with Solid 59-43 Win over Occidental

Photo credit: Olivia de la Cruz
Photo credit: Olivia de la Cruz

The University of Redlands women's basketball team returned to the friendly confines of Currier Gym on Saturday afternoon and opened Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action with a 59-43 victory over the Occidental College Tigers.  After a sluggish start that resulted in a nine-point hole, the Bulldogs made the necessary adjustments to take the lead by halftime and never looked back en route to the solid win.

The Tigers came out firing on all cylinders, earning a 21-12 lead with 1:28 remaining in the opening quarter.  But Redlands' sophomore guard Angela Silver (Scotts Valley, CA) and sophomore forward Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) teamed up for four critical points to cut the deficit nearly in half.

But Oxy answered right back at the beginning of the second stanza, scoring four-straight points to hand the Bulldogs another nine-point deficit.

However, sophomore guard Caitlyn Dixon (Seattle, WA) entered the game and immediately made a difference with her jumper at the seven-minute mark.

After junior guard Jade Cheldelin's three-point play, Redlands trailed by only four at 23-27 with 6:37 remaining in the quarter.  Tough defense by the Bulldogs inspired an 8-0 run, which allowed them to grab a 31-27 lead at the halftime break.  Senior forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) caught fire at just the right time, as she scored six of those integral points to close out the half.

The momentum stayed with the home team during the third period, as the Bulldogs rattled off a 10-2 run to take a sizeable lead at 43-29 with 3:50 left on the clock.  This spurt included four points apiece from Farry and Ta'amu. 

Sophomore forward Allison Siksnus (Placentia, CA) capped off the impressive quarter for Redlands by knocking down a three-pointer with 1:45 remaining.

From here, the Bulldogs cruised to victory, with junior guard Yoemma Esparza (Shafter, CA), sophomore guard Brooke Hulett (Poway, CA), Siksnus, and Dixon providing significant minutes off the bench.

Overall, Redlands shot 44.9% from the floor, while Oxy converted only 31.4% of its chances.  The home team also pulled in 43 rebounds, as compared to the Tigers' 23.

Farry and Ta'amu erupted for season-high performances in today's win.  Farry scored 12 points while also providing eight rebounds and three assists.  Ta'amu scored 20 points off of 7-for-11 shooting and hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end.

Sisknus supplied key minutes off the pine, scoring seven points and hauling in nine rebounds.

Sophomore guard Courtney Chen (La Canada, CA) served as the team's top facilitator, racking up five assists and two steals.

Redlands (4-6, 1-0 SCIAC) heads to Caltech on Thursday, January 7, for a SCIAC showdown against the Beavers at 7:30 p.m.