Cassandra Lacey's Career-High 34 Points Propel Bulldog Women's Basketball to Victory over Cal Lutheran

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With junior guard Cassandra Lacey's (Victorville, CA) career-high 34 points leading the charge, the University of Redlands women's basketball team captured a 74-67 win over Cal Lutheran University on Wednesday night in Thousand Oaks.  With the win, the Bulldogs not only secured the season sweep of the Regals, but they remain in contention for the fourth spot of the upcoming Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament with one game to go.

Tonight's contest included 10 ties and 12 lead changes, with Redlands scoring 20 or more points in three of the quarters. 

The Bulldogs built an early 10-4 lead with Lacey scoring eight of those points. Although Cal Lutheran responded with 12-2 run, Redlands closed out the quarter on a 9-0 momentum swing.  Sophomore forward Kellis Dack (Vancouver, WA), first-year guard Alyssa Downs (South San Francisco, CA), and first-year forward Hannah Jerrier (Canton, MA) each chipped in points for the Maroon and Gray during this stretch, which resulted in a 21-16 Redlands advantage.

The second quarter saw Redlands knock down 61.5% of its shots for a 20-point outburst, but Cal Lutheran made seven successful trips to the free-throw line to keep things close. The Regals regained the lead at 22-21 less than two minutes into the stanza and quickly stretched that to 24-21.  Nonetheless, first-year guard Chyanne Pagkalinawan (Torrance, CA) found Downs on the perimeter for a well-timed three-pointer to even the tally.

The teams traded buckets over the next four minutes until Redlands orchestrated a 6-0 run for a 34-29 lead that forced a Regal timeout.  Despite a pair of CLU free-throws, the Bulldogs went right back to work and scored on back-to-back possessions with Lacey draining a three and Downs swishing a jumper.  By the time the teams headed into the locker rooms for halftime, Redlands held a 41-37 advantage.

Unfortunately, the tables were turned in the third quarter, as the Regals lit up the scoreboard and the Maroon and Gray counted on its opportunities at the charity stripe.  Regardless of the methodology, the game remained a one-possession game, with Redlands' Lacey, Dack, and Jerrier providing critical points.

Down by one at the start of the final frame, the Bulldogs kept their composure amidst a foul-heavy stanza. With the score tied at 63 with 4:02 left in regulation, Lacey hit a huge and-one jumper to put Redlands up.  On the Regals' ensuing possession, Downs blocked the shot and snagged the rebound for a clutch defensive play.  CLU sent Jerrier to the line, who made both to make it a five-point game at 68-63.  Another three-point play off Lacey's hot hand put this one out of reach at 71-65 with 34 seconds remaining.  Redlands finished strong on defense and at the stripe, as the Regals' final shots from deep would not fall.

In addition to Lacey's career night, Downs broke the Redlands single-season record for three-pointers made by sinking two tonight en route to her 14-point, eight-rebound performance.  She now has 76 treys in her first season with the Maroon and Gray and surpasses Ashley Sevilla's record of 74 from 2011-12.  Jerrier chipped in 12 points for the most in her young career to go along with seven rebounds.

As a team, Redlands shot 91.3% from the free-throw line and won the rebounding battle with a 36-27 advantage.

The Bulldogs (10-14, 7-8 SCIAC) head to Pasadena for the final game of the regular season on Saturday, February 16.  Redlands faces Caltech at 5 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the men.