CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Basketball team fell late to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opponent Caltech 62-59 on Wednesday night at Voelkel Gymnasium.
Season Impact: With the loss, the Sagehens drop to 2-10 overall and 0-4 in SCIAC play.
The Sagehens were led by Keilani Ikehara who posted a team-high 17 points in the loss. Three other Sagehens were in double digits as Anita Romero ended her night with a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds and Alexa Bayangos and Renae Tamura each added 11 points to the total.
Caltech opened up the scoring early in the first quarter as they hit three of their first four shots of the quarter to jump out to a 7-3 lead. The Beavers kept the Sagehens' offense quiet early on as they held a 9-3 lead with 4:23 left in the first, but the Sagehens got their offense going and ended the quarter on a 7-4 run to find themselves down 13-10 heading into the second.
Pomona-Pitzer found its rhythm on offense in the second quarter as they put up 24 points, which is the most points the Sagehens have scored in a quarter since December 16th in their win against Pacific. The Beavers stayed with the Sagehens early on in the quarter with the game tied at 21-21 with just under six minutes remaining, but the Sagehens made their run as they closed out the half outscoring Caltech 13-4 to take a 34-25 lead thanks largely to Bayangos who tallied 11 points in the first half alone.
The Beavers flipped the script on the Sagehens in the third quarter as they outscored Pomona-Pitzer 21-13 to help narrow down their deficit. Caltech slowly chipped away at the Sagehens' lead throughout the entire third quarter but the Sagehens still held on late to cling to a two-point lead heading into the fourth up 48-46.
Pomona-Pitzer held on to its lead for the majority of the fourth but could not pull away from the Beavers as their lead never exceeded more than four points. The Sagehens found themselves up 59-55 with 1:50 remaining but the Beavers connected on a crucial three by Nika Haleftiras to knock the lead down to one at 59-58 with 44 seconds left on the clock.
The Sagehens turned the ball over on their next possession and a foul on the inbound gave the Beavers a chance to take the lead at the free-throw line with five seconds left on the clock. Grace Peng converted both shots at the line to give Caltech their first lead since the first quarter at 60-59. Another Sagehen turnover gave the Beavers two more points on made free-throws, which forced Pomona-Pitzer to try a desperation three-point attempt that fell short as the Beavers claimed their first SCIAC win of the season.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next continue SCIAC play as they host Cal Lutheran on Saturday, January 6th at 4:00 p.m.