The University of Redlands women's basketball team jumped into the 2018-19 season by hosting two games of the annual Tip-Off Classic on Friday evening in Currier Gym. In the opening contest, Chapman University defeated the Lady Blues of Illinois College, 82-70, while the Bulldogs prevailed over the Linfield College (OR) Wildcats by a score of 76-64 in the nightcap.
After shaking off first-game jitters, the Bulldogs carried a four-point lead into the second quarter, with junior guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) scoring 10 of the home team's 14 points. Big rebounds by sophomore forward Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) and first-year forward Hannah Jerrier (Canton, MA) also played a huge role in the Maroon and Gray's success in limiting the Wildcats' second-chance opportunities.
Although Linfield pulled within one at 15-16 with 8:43 left in the second, Redlands remained in front for the remainder of the game. In addition to Lacey's efficient shooting, the Maroon and Gray gained great support from first-year guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA), who knocked down a huge trey-ball to make it 24-19 at the 6:16-mark of the period. Three possessions later, Downs delivered a dime of a pass to sophomore guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA) on a sweet perimeter play for the bucket beyond the arc. Downs added another three-pointer to propel the Bulldogs to a 36-27 halftime lead.
During the third quarter, Lacey and Downs continued to tag-team the offense by scoring 17 of the team's 21 points. In addition, sophomore guard Ali Iannone (Fullerton, CA) and Lee took care of the ball-distribution duties for four assists, collectively. With stellar play on both ends of the court, the Maroon and Gray owned a 57-40 advantage with one quarter to go.
Although the Wildcats chipped away at the deficit, Redlands' lead was never in doubt. Lee stepped back for a key three-pointer midway through the fourth, while Jerrier knocked in four of her eight points to close out the win.
The Bulldogs came out on top in their 76-64 season-opener off 42.3% shooting, which included a 53.3% effort from downtown. Redlands also won the rebounding battle with a slight 46-43 margin, with Jerrier snagging a team-high 11 boards.
Overall, Lacey and Downs combined for 53 points, while Lee dished out five assists. Lacey put up a career-high 31 points, while Downs added 22 off six three-pointers.
In the opening game, Chapman topped Illinois College in an 82-70 showing, as Lucy Criswell went off for 32 points on 12-for-20 shooting. She also hauled in 11 rebounds and added eight blocks. Jaryn Fajardo impressed in the season debut with 15 points, 13 assists, and eight rebounds.
For Illinois College, Brielle Greenleaf dropped in 23 points, including the 1000th of her career. Grace Yaunches added solid support with 12 points, four assists, and four boards.
Illinois College owned a 22-18 lead after 10 minutes of action, but Chapman's persistent press forced the Lady Blues into 21 turnovers. The Panthers capitalized by scoring 25 points off these miscues. Furthermore, Chapman knocked down 60% of its three-pointers en route to a 40.5% showing on the night.
The Redlands Tip-Off Classic continues on Saturday, with Chapman squaring off against Linfield at 5 p.m., and the Bulldogs taking on Illinois College at 7 p.m. in Currier Gym.