The University of Redlands women's basketball team captured Head Coach Rich Murphy's 100th career win on Wednesday with a 90-74 decision over Hanover College (IN) in Currier Gym. On the heels of 50% shooting, including a 43.8% effort from downtown, the Bulldogs broke open a four-all game and maintained a double-digit lead from the 11:33-mark of the opening stanza.
Murphy's milestone returns the Maroon and Gray to the win column after a recent three-game skid, which followed six consecutive victories for the program's hottest start in its 36-year history.
Against the Panthers, Redlands uncorked a 21-8 run early in the first half to take a 25-12 lead by the midway point of the period. Junior forwardBrittany Oster (Agoura Hills, CA) initiated this spurt with three consecutive baskets before five of her teammates scored at least two points apiece. Also during this stretch, sophomore guard Melissa Hernandez (Riverside, CA) and senior guard Allison Wong (Redding, CA) combined for a trio of three-pointers for the Bulldogs.
The Maroon and Gray's offense continued to come at an impressive 59.4% clip, with 24 points in the final 10 minutes of the half for a 49-30 advantage at the break. Sophomore forward Vianna Amabile (Temecula, CA) provided a spark off the bench, scoring six points in just seven minutes.
During the second stanza, Hanover worked to chip away at the deficit but never threatened to take the lead. Senior forward Courtney Prater (Anderson, IN) carried the Panthers with a 19-point effort in the final 20 minutes of action.
Solid free-throw shooting kept things interesting for both squads, as Hanover converted 82.6% of its chances, while Redlands went 23-for-29 from the line. Sophomore guard Claire Stach (Portland, OR) and Wong stepped up with perfect, second-half showings at the charity stripe and combined for an 11-for-11 showing.
The Bulldog defense held its opponents to a 33.3% shooting night, which included a less than stellar 5-for-20 from beyond the arc. In addition, Redlands forced 20 Hanover turnovers, which led to 21 points for the Maroon and Gray.
Redlands' Wong boasted a team-high 20 points, which came off of a 6-for-8 effort. Stach finished with a career-high 18 points, along with four steals. Oster added 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Sophomore guardMarika Staton (El Centro, CA) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points, which complemented her eight boards and four assists. Junior guardColleen Goeser (San Carlos, CA) dished out a game-high five assists while chipping in six points.
Hanover's (6-3) Prater registered a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds, while junior forward Elyse Weddle (Bloomfield, IN) and sophomore guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, IN) contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Redlands (7-3) enjoys a short break from competition before hosting Manchester College on Friday, December 28, at 7 p.m. in Currier Gym as part of the Redlands Winter Classic.