In the final home game of the 2008-09 season, the University of Redlands men’s basketball team provided a memorable sendoff for senior Travis Miller (Coto de Caza, CA) with an exciting victory over the Tigers of Occidental College by a score of 63-62. However, this night stands out in Miller’s mind for one reason in particular as he sank the final layup with 2.7 seconds remaining for the win.
The first half saw a back-and-forth battle with the Bulldogs gaining a six-point edge at the half. Redlands took advantage of Oxy’s 10 turnovers in the opening period, converting them to nine points, which proved to be difference.
The Tigers tied the game at 43 apiece off of a 6-0 run early in the second half. After a Redlands timeout at 14:52, the Bulldogs returned the favor with eight unanswered points to put them up 51-43 with 11:05 remaining. Oxy eventually closed the gap and moved ahead off of two made free-throws by junior forward Sean Anderson (Burbank, CA) at the five-minute mark.
After trading turnovers, the Tigers converted their next possession on an Anderson dunk, stretching their lead to three points with 3:35 to go. Redlands responded with an important three-pointer by freshman forward Stephen Call (Portola Valley, CA) to tie the game at 61. Oxy freshman wing Jack Hanley (Seattle, WA) sank just one of his two free throws with 1:29 remaining, which left the door open for Redlands.
Although both teams failed to score on their next possessions, the ball was in the Bulldogs’ hands with four seconds to play.
Following timeouts by both teams, Head Coach Jim Ducey drew up a play for Miller to finish his career as the hero and it worked. With Oxy tightly defending junior guard Patrick Coffey (San Carlos, CA), who supplied 17 points on the night, Miller went by his defender and cut under the basket for the uncontested layup and the game-winning basket.
With 2.7 seconds remaining, Oxy threw up a last-ditch effort and missed at the buzzer.
Miller contributed a career-high six assists in his final game with the Bulldogs, along with eight points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Sophomore Matt Dietrich (Phoenix, AZ) led the Bulldogs with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Coffey added 17 points, four steals, and three assists.
For Oxy, Anderson posted a game-high 24 points and 10 boards, while Hanley chipped in 15 points.
Redlands (10-15, 6-8 SCIAC) finishes out the season in sixth place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings, while Oxy placed fifth.