Redlands Men’s Basketball Drops Heartbreaker to Augsburg University (MN)

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The University of Redlands men's basketball team took on Augsburg University (MN) in the final game of the 2018 Bulldog Tip-Off Classic and suffered a tough, 77-82 loss to the Auggies on Saturday night in Currier Gym.

The evening began with California Miramar University defeating Ottawa University of Arizona, 95-89.

Redlands and Augsburg opened up the game with toe-to-toe blows, as first-year forward Kameron Wright (Fontana, CA) connected on a layup to make it 12-all early in the first half. After the Bulldogs moved in front on back-to-back layups from junior guard Hass Berry (Riverside, CA), the Auggies answered with five points of their own to re-take the lead at 20-16. Nonetheless, sophomore forward Parker Landolf (Alamo, CA) and senior guard Joey Sponheim(Redlands, CA) chipped in five points apiece for Redlands' largest lead of the night at 26-20 with 5:36 to go in the half.

After calling a timeout, Augsburg regrouped to move within one point moments later. However, the Maroon and Gray took advantage of opportunities at the free-throw line to build a four-point lead. 

But the back-and-forth nature of the game continued, with the Auggies rallying to tie the game at 35-35 by the halftime break.

After Augsburg came out firing in the opening six minutes of the second stanza, Redlands faced a 41-49 deficit.  First-year wing Gary Menary (Grass Valley, CA) and graduate student guard Kyle Hamane (Pasadena, CA) came off the bench to provide a much-needed spark.  Three minutes later, Redlands trailed only by two at 48-50.

Nonetheless, the game continued to ebb and flow, with Augsburg holding a slight lead through the 10-minute mark.  However, junior wing Brittian Foster (Long Beach, CA) stole the ball and finished the play with an emphatic dunk to culminate an energy-filled surge for a 54-53 Redlands advantage.

The teams continued to jockey for the lead with timely buckets on both ends. After Sponheim connected on a deep three-ball, Wright knocked down a step-back, mid-range jumper, with each bucket allowing Redlands to regain the lead within a one-minute span.

The Maroon and Gray's perimeter attack kept the home team afloat down the stretch, but after Menary's last three-pointer at the 4:48 mark, the Auggies stretched their lead to four, which proved to be enough to keep Redlands at bay.  A late Sponheim layup made it a two-point game, but Augsburg closed it out with key free throws and quality shooting as time ran out.

Overall, Sponheim paced the Bulldogs with 19 points while also contributing two rebounds and two assists. Junior forward David Menary (Grass Valley, CA) crewed the paint with 10 points and seven boards, to go along with two steals and an assist. The Bulldogs' bench out-scored the Auggies, 24-10, with G. Menary leading with 10 points and seven boards in 24 minutes. Redlands also dominated the paint with a 33-24 rebounding margin and 21 second-chance points.

In the first game of the night, the result came down to the wire, with California Miramar University ultimately executing down the stretch to take a 95-89 victory over Ottawa University of Arizona. Xavier Roy and Gabriel Solache came off the bench to highlight the high-scoring affair with 17 points each. The tandem joined three other players in double digits, with Steven Adams chipping in 15 with eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Dimetres Moore led Ottawa's attack with a game-high 18 points. The Ottawa Spirit also had five players in double figures, including Emeka Iheama and Elijah Simmons scoring 13 each off the bench.

The Fighting Falcons turned Ottawa's 17 turnovers into 20 points.

Redlands (2-1) returns to action after Thanksgiving when it hops a flight to Lincoln, NE, to compete in the Snyder Classic.  The Bulldogs face host school Nebraska Wesleyan University on Friday, November 23, at 5 p.m. and then take on Greenville University (IL) on Saturday, November 24, at 12 noon.