With the stage set for an exciting showdown between the top two women's basketball teams in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (SCIAC), the University of Redlands Bulldogs and the Occidental College Tigers fought for every point in a defensive battle during "Breast Cancer Awareness Night" at Currier Gym. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the celebratory ending came in favor of their foes as Occidental prevailed by a score of 59-48 in Thursday's clash. With the loss, Redlands slips into second place while the Tigers take sole possession of the top slot.
Prior to the game, the teams donned pink T-shirts to raise awareness about breast cancer and to show support for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
After an extremely tight start to the game, the Bulldogs rattled off an 8-1 run to secure their largest lead of the game at 24-17 with 1:16 remaining in the first half. However, five successful free-throws and a last-second jumper allowed Occidental to make it a two-point game at the break.
The Tigers' momentum continued as they scored 11 unanswered points to start the second stanza.
Minutes later, Redlands responded to a 33-42 deficit with an 8-0 run to pull within one with 7:41 to go.
But this was as close as the Bulldogs could get with Occidental's junior guard Makenzie Brandon (Seattle, WA) firing off 25 of her 29 points during the second half.
Led by sophomore forward Brittany Oster (Agoura Hills, CA) with a game-high 11 rebounds, Redlands won the rebounding battle with a 51-35 edge, including 13 on the offensive end.
However, the Maroon and Gray struggled to connect offensively and sustained 18 turnovers. Overall, Redlands shot a mere 29.1%, compared to Occidental's showing of 42.9%.
Redlands (15-7, 9-2 SCIAC) hosts the tied-for-third-place Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges for "Family Fun Night" on Saturday at 5 p.m.