LA VERNE, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball dropped their first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game of the year on the road to La Verne 89-86 on Tuesday night.
Season Impact: With the loss, the Sagehens snap their four-game win streak and drop to an even 6-6 overall and 2-1 in SCIAC play. La Verne improves to 9-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
The Sagehens were led by sophomore Corbin Koch who tied his career-high with 27 points. Senior Mitchell Finkel had a double-double with a season-high 15 points and 13 rebounds, sophomore Daniel Rosenbaum added 15 points and freshman Micah Elan chipped in with 11.
The Leopards were led by Hakim Arnold who tied Koch with a game-high 27 points. Anthony Helped added 20 points, Cruz Mertens added 13 and Kendall McClain with 11.
The Sagehens came out in the first half and immediately found their stroke on offense by starting the game on an 11-2 run to force the Leopards to call a timeout with 17:30 remaining.
La Verne regrouped after the time out and began to chip away at the Sagehens' lead to narrow the gap down to just one point at 19-18.
Pomona-Pitzer responded with an 11-3 run capped off by a Rosenbaum steal that turned into an and-one layup to extend the lead to 30-21 with 9:00 left in the first half.
La Verne ended the half hot as they finished with a 15-4 run to lead 43-40 heading into the locker room.
The Leopards came out in the second half and picked up where they left off to end the first as they instantly went on a 10-4 with some good three-point shooting to force the Sagehens to call an early timeout down 53-44 with 16:18 remaining.
Pomona-Pitzer began to battle back after its slow second half start and brought the lead down to 62-56 with just over 11 minutes to go in the second half.
The Sagehens came all the way back and took their first lead of the second half with 2:16 remaining after James Kelbert grabbed an offensive rebound and found Koch for a second chance three-pointer that gave Pomona-Pitzer an 80-78 lead.
After tying the game at 80-80 the Leopards went down and hit and and-one three-pointer by Mertens to take an 84-80 lead with 1:23 left to go.
Although the Sagehens threatened late, the Leopards stayed solid at the line to snap the Sagehens' four-game win streak.
Up Next: The Sagehens will continue SCIAC play on the road as they next travel to Redlands on Saturday, January 14th at 7:00 p.m.