The University of Redlands men's basketball team faced in-region foe UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday in a rare, mid-season game against a non-conference opponent. While resting some starters and allowing the reserves to gain plenty of playing time, the Bulldogs fell short in a 56-84 decision in Currier Gym.
After the Banana Slugs stormed out to a 21-point lead, the Maroon and Gray struggled to counter the visitors' efficient offense.
The Bulldogs' first bucket of the evening came off the hands of sophomore guard Brittian Foster (Long Beach, CA), as he knocked down a three-pointer from first-year forward Jordan Holden's (Anaheim, CA) perfect pass. Two possessions later, Holden drove the lane for a lay-up after putting in a strong defensive effort on the other end with a block and a rebound.
Redlands battled to find its offensive rhythm, with first-year guards Jacob Russell (Boise, ID) and Michael Hanna (Murrieta, CA), and sophomore guards Hass Berry (Riverside, CA) and Jesse Grabow (San Ramon, CA) chipping in points.
But as the teams headed into the locker rooms for halftime, Redlands faced an uphill battle with a 26-47 deficit.
The Banana Slugs stretched their lead to 32 points by the 8:59-mark of the second half, when Head Coach Jim Ducey sent junior guard Allen Quintero (Ventura, CA) into the game. While making his first appearance this season, Quintero impressed in his 11 minutes of action against the Banana Slugs. Junior guard Jacob Forte (Lake Elsinore, CA) found him on the perimeter, where he hit a nothing-but-net jumper on his first shot of the night. Quintero went on to swish his next two three-pointers to lift his teammates. A few minutes later, Hanna followed his lead and stepped back for a trey-ball before Quintero quickly reached his career-high of 13 points with one more bucket from beyond the arc and another jumper.
Although the loss was imminent at this point, the Bulldogs gained inspirational play from first-year forward Parker Landolf(Alamo, CA), who nabbed a steal and then drove the lane for the dunk.
Quintero finished with a team-high 13 points, while Hanna also registered the most points and rebounds of his young career with 10 and eight, respectively. In addition, Foster tossed in 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Redlands (5-11, 3-4 SCIAC) hosts Occidental College for Family Fun Day on Saturday, January 20. The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) contest is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip-off in Currier Gym.