The University of Redlands women's basketball team took on the visiting Royals of Hope International University in a non-conference showdown on Friday afternoon in Currier Gym. In an overall tight contest, the Bulldogs struggled through a cold steak late in the game, which led to the 59-70 loss.
The Maroon and Gray built a 12-5 lead by the 3:58-mark of the first quarter, with first-year guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA) leading the charge with six points. However, HIU closed the gap to one at 13-14 with well-timed trey balls. Not to be outdone, Downs hit a three-pointer of her own off a sweet pass from sophomore guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA) at the buzzer to send the teams into the first intermission with Redlands leading 17-13.
The Royals managed to tie things up at 18 midway through the second quarter, which led to a back-and-forth battle on the floor. After swatting away an HIU shot for Downs to recover, sophomore forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) broke the stalemate when she stepped back to sink a jumper for the Bulldogs' 20-18 lead. Downs and first-year guard Jordan Smith (Tustin, CA) converted free throws but Hope International heated up offensively to go up by a score of 33-27 with 50 seconds left in the stanza. Nonetheless, junior guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) tossed in a much-needed layup for the Bulldogs, which made it a two-possession game at 29-33.
After the halftime break, HIU came out firing and quickly pulled away with a 39-29 lead. After a Downs three-pointer, the Bulldogs answered with tough defense to keep the Royals off-kilter while Mosley and Lee teamed up for critical points. With 3:07 remaining in the third, Mosley's layup off Lacey's assist put the Bulldogs back in front at 43-42. The teams traded buckets over the next few minutes, with Lacey finding Downs on an open three to make it 50-51 with 10 minutes to play.
Unfortunately for Redlands, the Royals' offense continued to click as the home team struggled to create an effective rhythm. By the 5:02-mark, the Bulldogs faced another 10-point deficit, which quickly grew to 15 two possessions later.
A late three by Lee and another sweet jumper by Mosley were not enough, as the Bulldogs came up short in a 59-70 decision.
Downs hit double figures in scoring for the third time in as many games while pacing the Bulldogs today with 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting. Mosley registered a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Lee finished with 10 points.
As a team, HIU converted just one more bucket than Redlands but knocked down six more free throws and three more shots from beyond the arc. Percentage-wise, the Maroon and Gray gained a slight edge with a 36.7% showing, as compared to the Royals' 35.9% effort.
Defensively, the Bulldogs won the rebounding battle with a 46-37 advantage.
Redlands (2-1) continues its non-conference slate by hosting Elmhurst College (IL) on Saturday, November 24, at 1 p.m. in Currier Gym.