First Half Spurt Sends Redlands Past Bearcats, 89-75

Luedtke Pours in Career-High 26 Points for Willamette

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

REDLANDS, CALIF. -- Willamette University led early, but the University of Redlands used excellent three-point shooting and a 24-5 first half run to pull away from the Bearcats for an 89-75 victory on Thursday, Dec. 19 at Currier Gym.

Redlands, which competes in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), improved to 4-5 on the season. Willamette, which plays in the Northwest Conference, fell to 1-5, including 0-4 against SCIAC competition this year.

Brandon Luedtke (So., F, Meridian, ID/Mt. View HS) led the Bearcats with a career high 26 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the field. Luedtke also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Joseph Jackson (Jr., W, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS) and Alex Brown (Jr., F, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) also reached double figures for Willamette, scoring 10 points each. Jackson finished 4 of 5 from the floor, including 2 of 3 on three-point attempts. Brown connected on 5 of 6 shots.

The Bulldogs also placed three players in double figures, including a game-high 30 points from Ricky Peetz, who connected on 8 of his 10 three-point attempts during the game. Eric Radford contributed 15 points for Redlands, while Kendel Glapion scored 10. 

Though Peetz put Redlands on the board first with a pair of free throws, five straight Willamette points put the Bearcats on top by three at the 16:36 mark. Luedtke notched WU's first points of the night on a free throw and a layup, while Jackson added a jumper.

The game remained tight for the following five minutes, with the Bearcats using an 8-3 mini-run to grab a 16-13 lead on Luedtke's layup with 12:16 left in the first half.

From there, however, Redlands seized control of the contest, going on a 24-5 run that lasted nearly six minutes of game time. Most of the run was fueled by Peetz, who nailed six of seven three-pointers -- including four in a row at one point -- during the stretch.

Once Peetz cooled off, Radford added a three-pointer of his own, and his pair of foul shots with 6:30 remaining left Willamette down 37-21.

The Bearcats cut the margin back to 10, at 40-30, on Luedtke's layup with 3:33 left in the half, but yet another three from Peetz helped the Bulldogs quickly push the lead back to 17. Redlands led 48-34 at halftime.

The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 64-45 when Sean Milligan hit a jumper with 11:51 left in the game. But Willamette fought back, and a jumper from Talanoa Smith (Jr., G, Pago Pago, American Samoa/Tafuna HS) with 3:11 remaining sliced Redlands' lead to just nine points, at 80-71.

Five straight points for Redlands, capped by yet another three-pointer from Peetz, gave the Bulldogs a 14-point cushion, and the Bearcats got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

While Luedtke, Jackson, and Brown finished 17 of 22 (77.3%) from the field for Willamette, the rest of the Bearcats' roster shot just 9 of 35 (25.7%) for the game, for a team total of 26 of 57 (45.6%) shooting. WU shot just 25.0% (5 of 20) from long range, and connected on just 18 of 31 (58.1%) free throws.

Though Willamette's defense limited the Bulldogs to just 39.7% shooting (23 of 58) for the game, Peetz's three-point shooting enabled Redlands to finish 11 of 17 (64.7%) from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs also excelled at the foul line, hitting on 82.1% of their attempts (32 of 39).

The Bearcats will continue their road swing through Southern California on Saturday, Dec. 21, with a 1 p.m. (PST) game at California Lutheran University. 

BOX SCORE

University of Redlands 89
Willamette University 75

Brandon Luedtke scored a career-high 26 points on 8 of 11 shooting in the Bearcats' loss at Redlands.

Brandon Luedtke scored a career-high 26 points on 8 of 11 shooting in the Bearcats' loss at Redlands.