The University of Redlands women's basketball team battled in overtime against the University of La Verne on Saturday night and eventually came up short in the extra period, falling 70-73. Free-throw shooting and untimely fouls ultimately doomed the Bulldogs in the tough Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) loss.
The contest was evenly contested by both sides early on in Currier Gym, but the U of R pushed in front with 14:12 remaining in the first stanza when junior guard Kaity Lykins (Simi Valley, CA) and senior forward Brittany Oster (Agoura Hills, CA) nailed back-to-back shots to make it 12-4 in favor of the Bulldogs.
The Leopards responded with a run of their own, however, and took the lead with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first stanza at 15-14. From there, La Verne stayed on the offensive and extended the lead going into the half, 31-26.
During the first 20 minutes, the Maroon and Gray shot 33.3% from the field while holding La Verne to a 25.0% effort overall. The Leopards made 12-of-16 from the line, however, while the Bulldogs converted only 4-of-10 from the charity stripe.
In the second stanza, the U of R was clicking offensively right from the start, with Oster, Lykins, and senior forward Madison Sanders-Curry (San Jose, CA) all scoring buckets to give the Bulldogs a 34-31 lead.
Later in the half, Redlands senior guard Colleen Goeser (San Carlos, CA) scored four points in a one-minute span to put the Bulldogs up, 57-49.
The Leopards continued to battle back, however, and with just over a minute left in regulation cut the lead to six points. Lykins nailed two free throws to extend the advantage back to eight points with 49 seconds left, but those would be the last points the U of R would score in regulation.
A pair of missed free throws for the Bulldogs down the stretch and a couple of timely late shots by the Leopards tied the game up with 15 seconds remaining. Redlands still had one opportunity to win the game in regulation, however, but Goeser's shot missed its mark, sending the contest to overtime.
In the extra period, Oster made two free-throws right away before Sanders-Curry converted a key layup, putting Redlands up by four points.
La Verne (9-5, 4-1 SCIAC) battled once again though and tied the game with two minutes left in the first overtime. After one made free-throw from Sanders-Curry, the Leopards went on a quick 4-0 run to nab a three-point advantage with just over a minute left.
The two teams traded a free throw each during the final minute, and the Bulldogs had one final opportunity to tie the game on the final play. Sophomore forward Brinsley Farry (Ventura, CA) heaved up a last-second shot from distance, but the ball rimmed out as the buzzer sounded, resulting in the Bulldogs' first SCIAC loss of the year.
Oster led the way on the night for the U of R with 20 points and a season-best 18 rebounds, while Lykins added 16 points and nine boards. In addition, Sanders-Curry racked up 12 points and 12 rebounds in the defeat.
As a team, Redlands shot 37.3% from the field while not making one shot from distance. From the charity stripe, the Bulldogs went 20-of-39, while La Verne made 26-of-37 from the foul line.
After its bye on Thursday evening, the U of R (12-3, 5-1 SCIAC) travels to Cal Lutheran University on Saturday, January 18, for a key game against the Regals (6-7, 2-3 SCIAC). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.