The University of Redlands women's basketball team traveled to Northern California to compete in its third contest of a seven-game road stint while facing in-region foe UC Santa Cruz at the Hyatt December Classic on Monday. After an even first quarter, the Bulldogs fell behind en route to a 48-65 loss to the Banana Slugs.
Junior guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) and sophomore guard Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA) got things going with early buckets to put Redlands up, 4-2. Sophomore forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) chipped in two points on a jumper before Lacey connected to make it 8-5 with 3:06 remaining in the first quarter. The Banana Slugs scored on consecutive baskets to take the lead, but Redlands looked to Lacey to tie it up at 10 apiece with a jumper just before time expired on the opening 10 minutes.
However, Santa Cruz established an offensive rhythm that led to a nine-point lead midway through the second quarter. Although the Banana Slugs extended its lead to double digits, first-year guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA) scored to cut the Bulldogs' deficit with 2:53 to go. Redlands continued to battle late in the quarter and gained quality scores from sophomore guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA) and Lacey to make it 23-33 at halftime.
Lacey stormed out of the break with six consecutive points for the Maroon and Gray, which helped the team slim the advantage to 29-37. After first-year forward Hannah Jerrier (Canton, MA) scored her first bucket of the game at the 6:18-mark, Redlands' offense went cold for a few minutes until Lacey broke the drought with a jumper. With both teams stepping up defensively late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs saw Lacey score a bucket with 28 seconds left on the clock to move within 13 at 35-48.
Despite 11 points collectively from Downs and Lacey, the Bulldogs struggled to overcome the hole before the final whistle.
Lacey led all scorers with 26 points while adding six rebounds, three assists, and one steal. Downs finished with 12 points and four rebounds, as Dack pulled in a team-high eight boards and paced the squad with four assists.
Redlands (2-7) strives to rebound when it faces Pacific University (OR) on Tuesday, December 18, at 2 p.m. to conclude the Hyatt December Classic in Santa Cruz.