Little Goes a Long Way for CLU : College basketball: Ulloa, smallest player on court, ignites second-half spurt as Kingsmen cruise past Redlands, 117-92.
Dave Ulloa of Cal Lutheran was the smallest player on the court in Wednesday night’s Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball game against visiting Redlands, but no one stood out more than the diminutive sophomore during a scintillating 46-second stretch early in the second half.
Cal Lutheran had a 12-point lead when Ulloa went on a tear that sent the Kingsmen on their way to a 117-92 victory which was not as close as the final score.
Keith Morgan of Redlands had hit a pair of free throws with 15 minutes 47 seconds left in the game to narrow the Bulldogs’ deficit to 64-52 when Ulloa went to work.
His 12-foot jump shot gave Cal Lutheran a 14-point lead with 15:33 remaining, and he added a 10-footer from the right side 10 seconds later after stealing the inbounds pass.
The 5-foot-9 guard from Glendale High stole yet another inbounds pass and fired a wraparound pass to Rupert Sapwell who scored on a layup, was fouled, and converted the free throw to give the Kingsmen a 71-52 lead with 15:13 left.
Redlands Coach Gary Smith called time out to slow Cal Lutheran down, but Ulloa’s three-point shot with 14:47 to go got the Kingsmen rolling again as they scored 12 points on their next five possessions to take an 83-52 lead with 12:51 left.
In all, Cal Lutheran (19-1, 8-1 in the conference) outscored Redlands, 19-0, over a stretch of less than three minutes.
“Coach is always telling us that defense makes our offense go and that was sure true tonight,” Ulloa said. “We got a couple of easy baskets off those steals which kind of broke their backs.”
Ulloa had been held to 13 points and five assists in the previous two games, but he had 21 points, six assists and four steals on Wednesday.
“Coach told me a couple of weeks ago to feel free to take control of the game and play with a little more aggression,” Ulloa said. “And that’s helped me to relax. Tonight I played more like I played in high school, with more freedom to do as I like.”
Cal Lutheran, tied for first with Pomona-Pitzer in the SCIAC standings, extended its lead to 104-69 before Mike Dunlap cleared his bench with 5:53 left.
“I think giving some of our guys a rest in the first half really helped in the second half,” Dunlap said.
“They were able to get after Redlands and apply pressure.”
Redlands (9-11, 4-5) turned the ball over 32 times as the Kingsmen had a season-high 22 steals.
Sapwell added 21 points and seven rebounds for Cal Lutheran, which has won four games in a row since being upset by Claremont-Mudd two weeks ago.
Cal Lutheran led, 53-42, at halftime after going on a 17-6 run over the last 4 1/2 minutes of the first 20-minute period.
Redland’s David Cottey hit a three-point shot to tie the score, 36-36, with 4:52 left in the half, but the Kingsmen took charge after that by forcing the Bulldogs into five turnovers on their final 10 possessions before intermission.
Sapwell (12 points and six rebounds) got the Cal Lutheran run going with a put-back of a missed shot by Damon Ridley and Ulloa capped it with a weaving drive through the left side of the lane four seconds before halftime.
Ulloa scored six points during the Kingsmen’s run on three-of-three shooting from the field. He had 11 points at halftime with teammate Jason Smith adding nine.
Michael Anderson had a team-high 10 points for Redlands.