REDLANDS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran men’s basketball team suffered back-to-back losses for the first time all winter after being upset, 69-58, by Redlands on the road in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown this evening.
On a night that John Green got the first start of his collegiate career and contributed with 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting while sharing the team-lead in rebounds with six in just 16 minutes of action, the Kingsmen fell despite three players reaching double figures.
Arik Smith once again reeled off a game-high with 16 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 showing at the line, while Corey Quintana provided a spark off the bench with 14 points on a 4-for-7 night that included a trio from three-point range. Joining Green with six boards were Michael Palmer and Coltrane Powdrill.
Unfortunately for the Violet and Gold, Cal Lutheran fell behind early at 15-10 midway through the first half. The Kingsmen would produce a 6-1 run to tie the game when Quintana received a pass in the low-block, spun and split two defenders to sink a jumper, knotting the game at 16-16.
The Bulldogs would race down and counter with a three-pointer to retake the lead and UR would maintain its three point lead for the next seven minutes before Quintana hit his third three-pointer of the half and tied the score at 27 with three minutes remaining.
CLU had a chance to take a lead on its next possession, but Redlands forced a turnover and Ian Gordon buried a shot from beyond the arc to give the Bulldogs back the lead. UR tacked on another basket before heading into halftime leading 32-27.
After the intermission Smith was responsible for the first points on a jumper although it was more of the same as the Kingsmen took just one lead over the final 20 minutes, which came at the 16:00 mark on a Smith layup. Redlands promptly went on a 7-0 run after falling behind and extended its lead to eight points with 13:06 to play. CLU mustered just six points in the final five minutes as the Kingsmen suffered the tough defeat.
Redlands (9-13, 5-8 SCIAC) was led by 13 points from Eric Radford and 10 from Kyle Milligan. Defensively, Alex Rudd led all players with seven rebounds and Aljosa Bjekovic came down with six and a game-high four steals, which was more than the entire CLU squad tonight.
Cal Lutheran (17-6, 8-6 SCIAC) will enjoy a bye this weekend to regroup before taking the court again on Wednesday, Feb. 19 against Whittier with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. inside of the Gilbert Arena.