The University of Redlands men's basketball team fell to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Saturday evening, 73-90. In its first contest of the new calendar year, the Bulldogs could not find their offensive rhythm on the road en route to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) defeat.
The U of R offense sputtered to start the game and in almost three minutes, trailed the Sagehens 2-10. Redlands responded to its slow start, however, and after sophomore forward Aljosa Bjekovic (Maribor, Slovenia) and senior guard Ricky Peetz (Redlands, CA) nailed shots from long distance, the Maroon and Gray had pulled to within two points at 12-14.
The Sagehens then went on a 32-18 run to end the half and take a 16 point lead at the break, 46-30. Redlands shot just 29.7% during the first 20 minutes, while Pomona-Pitzer hit 51.4% of its shots.
In the second stanza, the U of R started to mount a comeback effort, and when senior forward Alex Rudd (St. Louis, MO) hit three free-throws, the deficit was down to just 10 points. The Sagehens responded with a small run of their own, but the Bulldogs kept it close and Eric Radford (Federal Way, WA) and Bjekovic hit back-to-back three-pointers to make it a 66-76 game with 4:29 left on the clock.
That would be as close as Redlands would get, however, as Pomona-Pitzer made its free throws down the stretch while the Bulldogs went cold from the field.
Leading the way for the U of R on the evening was Bjekovic with a team-high 18 points and 11 rebounds. Additionally, Rudd added 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists off the bench, while Peetz tallied 13 points.
For the Sagehens (7-5, 3-1 SCIAC), all five starters scored in double figures and Michael Cohen notched a game-high 20 points.
Redlands (5-7, 1-2 SCIAC) hosts Caltech (3-9, 0-3 SCIAC) on Wednesday, January 8. Tipoff in Currier Gym is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.