The University of Redlands men's basketball team tipped off the 2011 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) season with a solid performance against the visiting Kingsmen of Cal Lutheran University en route to a 64-58 victory on Saturday in Currier Gym.
On the heels of a 53.5% showing from the floor, the Bulldogs overcame a five-point deficit during the first half and then never trailed during the second stanza.
With three players in double figures and the bench accounting for 26 points, Redlands boasted a well-rounded attack that thrived on every switch in the lineup. The team recorded a 13-for-23 performance in the opening half and then went 10-for-20 in the final frame, with nine players contributing at least three points.
Cal Lutheran posted a 38.0% display for the game.
The Kingsmen took advantage of their first possession with senior forward Aaron Fisher (Los Angeles, CA) nailing a three-pointer just 28 seconds into the game.
Although the Bulldogs responded with back-to-back jumpers, Cal Lutheran eventually built a five-point lead and kept Redlands at bay through the first 11 minutes.
Down 12-17, the Maroon and Gray kept chipping away at the deficit with junior center Jack Colston (Dana Point, CA) dropping in seven of his 13 points during a four-minute span which led to a tie at 22-all.
A back-and-forth battle ensued with Redlands earning the upper hand at the break when sophomore guard Tristan Kirk (Redlands, CA) drove the hole for back-to-back lay-ups, making it 32-30 for the Bulldogs.
During the second stanza, the momentum stayed with Redlands as it never faced a deficit in the final 20 minutes.
Although the Kingsmen tied it up at 57 with 2:57 remaining, the Bulldogs gained critical free-throws from Colston and Kirk down the stretch, leading to the 64-58 victory.
For Redlands, Kirk finished with a team-high 15, going 6-for-8 from the field. Senior center Andrew Mills (Newcastle, WA) went 4-for-6 for 12 points. In addition to 13 points, Colston came off the bench to provide a team-high seven rebounds.
CLU's Fisher led all players with 19 points to go along with nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Jayvaughn Nettles (Northridge, CA) chipped in 10 points as the only double-digit scorer for the Kingsmen.
Redlands (4-8) heads to Pasadena for Wednesday's SCIAC match against the Beavers of Caltech at 7:30 p.m.