Despite a solid first half, the University of Redlands women's basketball team saw an early lead slip away in Saturday afternoon's 63-72 loss to the University of La Verne in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown in Currier Gym.
After the Leopards broke the seal on the basket two minutes into the game, sophomore guard Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) matched the bucket on Redlands' subsequent possession. The Bulldogs' offense began to gain traction, as junior guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) scored five of their next seven points to take a 9-6 lead with 4:11 remaining in the first quarter.
The Maroon and Gray sustained its momentum through the play of sophomore guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA), who scored five straight, while first-year forward Hannah Jerrier (Canton, MA) followed suit with a sweet lay-in. All the while, Redlands locked down on the defensive end and held La Verne to no field goals for nearly four minutes, which put the home team up by a 17-7 advantage late in the first.
Although La Verne closed the first and opened the second with successful trips to the basket, Redlands retained a solid 22-12 lead, with Lacey and sophomore forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) knocking down buckets.
Throughout the second quarter, La Verne cut the lead to four on more than one occasion, but timely baskets helped Redlands to fend off the Leopards. Leading 24-20, the Bulldogs called a timeout and answered with a jumper from Dack and a layup from first-year guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA) for an eight-point advantage.
After La Verne managed to make it 26-30, the Bulldogs looked to Lee to slice and dice her way in for a layup on the other end. Sophomore guard Miya Ishii-Bleeker (Los Angeles, CA) drove the basket for two points of her own to send the Bulldogs into halftime up by a score of 34-29.
Despite early buckets from Lacey and Lee, Redlands faced a one-point deficit by the 7:19-mark of the third. The Maroon and Gray did not stay down for long, thanks in part to Lacey, who tied the score at the line. In addition, Dack knocked down a midrange jumper to put the home team back in front at 45-43 with 3:51 left in the frame.
Nonetheless, La Verne executed shots from deep to help close out the third with a 55-50 advantage.
The fourth-quarter momentum played into the Leopards' hands, who sat comfortably in front at 66-59 midway through the final stanza. A late jumper from Lee trimmed the lead to six with just under two minutes to go, but the Bulldogs' comeback fell short in the 63-72 loss.
Lacey came off the bench to lead the game in scoring with 21 points while also hauling in nine rebounds. Dack provided 12 points and seven rebounds, while Lee joined the two in double figures with 11. Mosley controlled the glass with a game-high 11 rebounds, which led to a 53-46 advantage on the boards for the Bulldogs.
Redlands (2-4, 0-2 SCIAC) hits the road for the first time this season to face Whittier College in SCIAC action on Wednesday, December 5, at 7 p.m.