The University of Redlands women's basketball team continued its Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) slate by hosting the Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges as part of Saturday afternoon's doubleheader in Currier Gym. The Bulldogs battled until the bitter end but came up short in the 41-47 loss.
After a defensive-heavy start to the contest, the teams clawed their way through a low-scoring five minutes until first-year guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA) converted the Bulldogs' first field goal for the home team's 4-2 advantage. As Redlands made stops on the defensive end, Downs caught the hot hand on offense with five points in a 25-second spurt to help her team to a 13-6 lead near the final minute of the first quarter. However, the Athenas answered with a push to slim the lead to three points through the opening frame.
With neither team incredibly efficient on offense, CMS managed to grab a 21-16 lead by the midway point of the contest.
The Bulldogs returned from the halftime break with a more aggressive mindset, as Downs scored on a jumper in the first minute of the third. CMS also started the half strong, eventually building an eight-point lead.
Nonetheless, Redlands cut it to four points on two separate occasions and sat within striking distance at 26-32 heading into the final quarter. Sophomore guard Alyssa Lee (Monterey Park, CA), sophomore guard Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA, and first-year forward Hannah Jerrier (Canton, MA) provided key points for the Bulldogs.
Just over a minute into the final frame, junior guard Cassandra Lacey (Victorville, CA) scored on a tough layup. Soon after, first-year guard Chyanne Pagkalinawan (Torrance, CA) checked into the game and assisted Lee on a well-timed three-pointer before scoring on a jumper the next possession to trim the deficit to 33-36 at the 6:24-mark. Jerrier then knocked down a mid-range jumper to bring the Bulldogs within one.
However, the Athenas managed to create some separation over the next few possessions. Jerrier's two free throws at the 2:12-mark made it a four-point game at 39-42. Lacey knocked down one more jumper with 19 seconds left, but CMS managed to escape with a 47-41 victory.
Downs and Lacey paced the squad with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Lacey also matched a game-high three steals, while Dack and sophomore forward Camille Mosley (Riverside, CA) each added two as well. Dack also continues her impressive streak of six consecutive games with double-digit rebounds with 10 in today's contest.
As a team, the Bulldogs enjoyed one of their more efficient nights from the free-throw line on 7-of-8 shooting for 87.5%. They also edged CMS, 15-22, in the turnover battle and scored 12 points off of those opportunities.
Redlands (4-11, 1-5 SCIAC) welcomes Cal Lutheran University to Currier Gym for a SCIAC showdown on Wednesday, January 9, at 7 p.m.