Despite a combined 49 points from first-year guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA) and junior guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA), the University of Redlands women's basketball team fell, 71-72, in an overtime heartbreaker to Elmhurst College (IL) on Saturday afternoon in Currier Gym.
The Bulldogs came out firing on all cylinders and made baskets on six of their first seven attempts en route to a lucrative first quarter. Downs sunk a three-pointer in the opening minute of action before sophomore forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) hit a mid-range jumper. Downs connected once again to push for an early 7-4 Bulldog lead. After Lacey knocked down two quick layups in less than a minute, Downs pickpocketed the Bluejays and drained a deep trey to extend the lead to 14-6. After sophomore guard Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) drove the lane for a layup with 3:09 to go, the Maroon and Gray locked down on defense to end the quarter up by a score of 18-10.
Over the course of the second quarter, Elmhurst worked its way back into the game, using a three-pointer to close the gap to just two with 6:19 left on the clock.
However, Mosley hit another jumper at the top of the key at the 3:13-mark and then ended a two-minute scoring drought with a layup to secure the Bulldogs' 27-21 advantage. Redlands continued to roll, with Lacey chipping in two points before Downs scored from the perimeter once again with seven seconds remaining, as the teams headed into the break with the Bulldogs holding a 32-26 lead.
The home team's momentum carried into the second half, as Downs' fifth three-pointer of the game contributed to a 39-30 advantage less than four minutes into the third quarter.
The Bluejays inched closer before eventually taking control with a trey-ball that put them up 41-40 with 3:14 to go in the third. Downs kept the Bulldogs afloat by going six-of-six from the free-throw line in the final minutes of the stanza to help create a slight 46-45 advantage with one quarter to go.
With 3:55 remaining, the Maroon and Gray sat in prime position with a six-point lead off a jumper in the paint from Lacey.
However, the Bluejays refused to go away and used several back-door cuts for layups, which helped to trim their deficit down to two with just under a minute to go in regulation.
After big defensive plays from both teams in the final minute, Elmhurst scored on a short-corner jumper as time expired to send the game into overtime at 67-all.
There were four lead-changes and two ties in the short five-minute overtime, with the Bluejays ultimately securing the game at the free-throw line in the incredibly tight contest.
Downs impressed with her all-around effort that included a game-high 26 points to go along with four rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Lacey also stuffed the stat sheet with 23 points, nine boards, five assists, two steals, and a block. Dack offered eight points and eight rebounds in a fine showing.
As a team, Redlands outshot the Bluejays with a 42.9% field goal percentage in addition to dominating the glass by a 47-34 margin.
The Bulldogs (2-2) return to action in Currier Gym on Wednesday, November 28, for their SCIAC opener against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at 7 p.m.