The University of Redlands men's basketball team capped off today's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader in Currier Gym with a heartbreaking, 71-73 loss to the Stags of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.
To start the game, sophomore guard Michael Hanna (Murrieta, CA) electrified the home crowd by scoring seven of the first nine points for Redlands, including a deep three-pointer to tie the game at nine-all with 12:20 left on the first-half clock. CMS controlled a brief lead before sophomore forward Spencer Bandow (Covina, CA) connected on two mid-range jumpers to tie the score once again at 14.
Deeper into the first half, junior forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA) reeled in an offensive rebound and sprung back up to convert an and-one basket. He followed this with another layup to push the Bulldog advantage to 19-14 at the 7:10-mark of the first.
The Redlands offense stalled in the final few minutes of the half, but Menary's last layup of the frame gave his team a 23-19 lead through 20 minutes of action.
Menary continued his assertive play in the second half by scoring the Bulldogs' first three points. After Sponheim joined the offensive outburst with four straight, Redlands sat in front by a score of 30-25 with 16:04 remaining. However, CMS halted the home team's momentum and tied the game at 30-30 just moments later.
Back-and-forth action led to several lead changes and ties before Menary knocked in two consecutive layups to distance the Redlands lead to 47-43.
Although the Stags regained a two-point lead by the 6:52-mark, the Maroon and Gray answered with Sponheim's six points in less than two minutes, including a 4-for-4 effort at the charity stripe. He then found sophomore forward Parker Landolf (Alamo, CA) for an important three-pointer, which vaulted the Bulldogs back to a five-point lead at 58-53 with just over three minutes to go in regulation.
Over the course of the final minutes, CMS inched its way back into striking distance and ultimately sent the game into overtime with two free throws with 10 seconds to go. The Bulldogs worked for a solid mid-range jumper as time was expiring, but it missed the mark.
In overtime, CMS built an early lead and forced the Bulldogs to play catch-up. With the Bulldogs trailing by five, Hanna hit a layup, which was followed by an and-one play from Sponheim to close the gap to just one at 67-68 with 1:46 left. The Bulldogs made it a one-point game twice more down the stretch, but another look in the closing seconds missed and allowed CMS to steal a 73-71 win.
While matching a game-high 18 points, Menary also added five rebounds, two assists, three steals, and two blocks. Sponheim offered 17 points and five assists, while Hanna pitched in 13 points and seven rebounds. Off the bench, Bandow registered his highest scoring output of the season with eight points in 16 minutes.
As a team, each starter garnered at least one steal. The Bulldogs owned a dominant 42-22 advantage in points in the paint and turned 14 CMS turnovers into 13 points.
Redlands (6-6, 1-2 SCIAC) hits the road for a short two-game road trip, starting with Chapman University at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 7