REDLANDS, Calif. – Megan Arnoldy posted a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds, but her effort was not enough for George Fox University to overcome a torrid three-point shooting night by the University of Redlands Bulldogs, who stunned the second-ranked Bruins 66-63 in a non-conference women's basketball game Wednesday night here at Currier Gym.
It was the season opener for the Bruins, who were playing without two-time All-America center Hannah Munger, who is still recovering from off-season knee surgery, and four new starters in the lineup. The Bulldogs improved to 3-0 on the season.
Redlands jumped out to a 5-0 lead on two free throws by Brittany Oster and a three-pointer by Marika Staton before the Bruins broke through on a short jumper by Megan Hays. That started a 15-4 run, capped by another Hays basket, that put the Bruins up 15-9 with 13:44 left in the half.
The Bruins stayed in front the rest of the period, building the largest lead of the game at 32-24 with 3:55 to go on two Arnoldy layups and one by Jami Roos. However, the Bruins then went cold, missing their last four shots and three free throws and committing four turnovers that enabled the Bulldogs to climb back in it. Layups by Colleen Goeser and Oster and a pair of freebies by Oster cut the margin to 32-30 at the half.
Redlands continued its hot streak to open the second half, scoring the first four points on buckets by Chelsea Katsch and Oster for a 34-32 lead. Arnoldy ended the streak with a layup, but the Bulldogs got threes from Ashley Sevilla and Staton to take a 41-36 lead with 13:49 remaining. The Bruins battled back and twice took one-point leads on layups by Dacia Heckendorf, the last one at 47-46 with 8:08 to play.
Oster's jumper at the 7:40 mark put Redlands in front for good and started an 8-0 run, finished by a Sevilla three, that made it 53-46 with 5:14 to go. Roos hit a three for the Bruins, only to have it answered by another Sevilla bomb, and the Bulldogs answered every challenge thereafter. Another Roos triple cut the George Fox deficit to 61-59 with 1:11 left, but Goeser nailed two free throws, and after a jumper by McKenzie Wolfe again made it a two-point game, Goeser hit a free throw and Oster a pair from the line with six seconds left to offset a final layup by Arnoldy at the buzzer.
The Bruins out-shot the Bulldogs overall from the field, .449 (26-58) to .382 (21-55), and dominated on the backboards, 46-29, but could not shut down the home team's outside accuracy. The 'Dogs canned 10-19 from outside the arc, a .526 percentage, while the Bruins misfired regularly, making only 3-14 (.214). Redlands also held an edge at the free throw line, sinking 14-21 (.667) to 8-15 (.533) for George Fox, and made fewer turnovers, 17-22.
In addition to Arnoldy' big game, Roos tossed in 12 points for the Bruins and Heckendorf added 12. Heckendorf just missed her own double-double with nine rebounds, as did Wolfe, who scored eight points and grabbed nine boards. Hays, Heckendorf, and Hayley Cusick handed out three assists apiece, while Hays blocked two shots and Cusick picked up five steals.
Staton led the 'Dogs with 17 points, followed by Oster with 15 and Sevilla with 12. Madison SandersCurry had a team-high eight rebounds. Oster contributed four assists, SandersCurry had two blocks, and Goeser, Staton, and SandersCurry made two steals each.
NEXT: George Fox continues its trip to southern California Friday in the Posada Royale Thanksgiving Classic, meeting Chapman University at 5:00 p.m. in a neutral-site game at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks ... Redlands hosts Hope International University Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.