Baines, Crosthwaite Lift Oxy Past Redlands

Baines, Crosthwaite Lift Oxy Past Redlands

LOS ANGELESZach Baines and Jonny Crosthwaite got hot in the second half, leading the Occidental men's basketball team to a comeback win over Redlands, 71-64 at Rush Gym on Wednesday.

After falling behind 33-22 and playing some very sloppy basketball on offense in the first half, the Tigers stepped up their defense and got high-percentage looks, scoring 49 points in the second half. The Tigers quickly erased the Bulldogs halftime lead with an 18-2 run.

Baines led Oxy with 19 of his 23 points in the period, including a perfect 4 for 4 from beyond the 3-point line. He finished the game 9 for 15 from the field and had three blocks by the basket that bailed Oxy out on defense. 

As Redlands started to pick it up, Crosthwaite got more solid, making lots of little defensive plays, along with some big shots, to help the Tigers hold off the Bulldogs.

Crosthwaite's biggest shot was a three that gave Oxy a six-point lead with 4:33 to play in the game. Ryan Kaneshiro followed it up with a big jumper on a drive to his right, and then Crosthwaite made free throws as Redlands had to play the foul game.

Crosthwaite finished with 14 points. He was 3 for 6 from the field, 2 for 3 from beyond the 3-point line and 6 of 7 from the foul line.

Austin DeWitz had a quiet near triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. His biggest contribution though was making Redlands high post David Menary work to catch the ball, denying the elbow pass that's so key to Redlands offense.  

Kaneshiro also played outstanding defense, finishing with four steals and six of his seven rebounds at the defensive end of the court. Earlier this week he was named SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season.

Caleb Yellin-Flaherty helped spark Oxy's offense by making quick basket cuts, getting teammates open by moving without the ball. He had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Jacob Adler had three points and four assists off the bench for Oxy.

David Menary led Redlands with 20 points and nine rebounds and Joey Sponheim added 14 points. Sponheim spent most of the first half on the bench dealing with foul trouble. 

Redlands won the first match up between the schools 101-97 in January. 

Season Impact: Oxy improves to 19-3 overall and 10-3 in SCIAC play. The Tigers have clinched a spot in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament and are now playing for seeding. With three games to play, Oxy sits in second place, tied with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the loss column with three. 

Oxy can also best last year's overall win total of 19 and finish with the first 20-win season the program has had since 2007-08.

Redlands falls to 11-10 overall and 6-6 in SCIAC. The Bulldogs are currently sitting in fourth place, a half game ahead of Whittier. 

Next Game: Oxy is back in action at Whittier on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Tigers will then finish the year at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and at home against Pomona-Pitzer. 

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