Second-Half Surge Lifts Kean Women Past Redlands, 71-68

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (11/26/10) – Rookie Emily Cristaldi scored 11 of her 16 points in the second half, as the Kean University women's basketball team erased an 11-point deficit in the second half to defeat University of Redlands at the California Lutheran Thanksgiving Classic on Friday afternoon.

Kean (3-0) erased the 59-48 deficit over the final 10 minutes of the game, as Cristaldi (pictured left) netted nine of her points in the that time and gave the Cougars the lead for good at 63-61 on a jumper with 5:37 left.

For Redlands (2-2), Courtney Carroll finished with a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds.

The Bulldogs took an early lead, before Kean took its first lead of the game at 19-18 on a three-pointer by sophomore Naimah Clemons with 8:45 remaining in the first half.  Clemons followed with a lay-up to extend the lead to 21-18, before the final eight minutes would feature four ties and seven lead changes and the Bulldogs would take a four point lead at 38-34 at the break. 

In the second half, Redlands would gradually build its lead, extending it to as many as 11 points at 59-48 on a lay-up by Carroll with 10:14 remaining in the game.

The Cougars would answer with a 13-0 run, taking a 61-59 lead on a lay-up by sophomore Simone Smith.  Cristaldi scored seven points in the run and would give the Cougars the lead for good at 63-61 with five and a half minutes left.

Cristaldi hit 7-of-10 shots from the floor and added four assists, while Clemons also finished with 16 points.  Junior guard Noel Mathis (pictured right) scored 11 points, while senior Angelica Bermudez grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

For Redlands, Brittany Oster had 12 points and nine rebounds, while Christina Rios added 10 points.

The Cougars face host California Lutheran University on Saturday afternoon.  Tip-off is 4 p.m. (PST).