Claremont, Calif. - Sophomore Jack Grodahl had 28 points on 11-15 shooting off the bench to lead the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Men's Basketball team to a 65-58 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday evening in front of an overflow crowd of 1,256 at Ducey Gymnasium in the first half of their annual inter-consortium rivalry.
Sophomore guard Kyle McAndrews (Seattle, Wash. - pictured) had 22 for Pomona-Pitzer in a losing cause, as the Sagehens fall to 11-6 overall and 6-3 in the SCIAC. The Stags improve to 13-5 overall and 9-1 in league play, defending their home court and maintaining their hold on first place in the conference standings (Redlands is tied in the loss column at 7-1).
Grodahl made eight straight jump shots, including six three-pointers and two deep two-pointers, to give the Stags some separation after a close initial 12 minutes. A jumper from senior forward Donald Okpalugo (Manchester, Eng.) had the Sagehens ahead 18-16 with just under nine minutes left in the first half, but Grodahl then ripped off 20 of his team's 22 points to close out the first half, making seven straight shots on six threes and a 20-foot fadeaway, to put the Stags ahead 38-31 at the break.
Pomona-Pitzer opened the second half with a dunk from junior forward Jake Klewer (Tucson, Ariz.) to cut it to five and keep the game close, but CMS used another long jumper from Grodahl to help open up its largest lead at 47-37 on a three-pointer from Jason Harrington with 13:20 to play.
McAndrews led the comeback effort for the Sagehens, as he buried a three-pointer from the right wing to make the score 53-49 with 5:33 left, as close as they had come since midway through the first half. Grodahl, though, had a put-back off a missed three-pointer to push the lead to six. Two McAndrews foul shots cut the lead to 57-52, but Shelby Lane scored on a reverse and Remy Pinson hit a deep three-pointer with 2:17 left to push the CMS lead to 62-52.
Pomona-Pitzer had one last chance as McAndrews scored on a tough drive over Lane, got a defensive rebound and hit two foul shots to make the score 62-56. The Sagehen defense then forced a turnover with just under a minute to play and McAndrews got off a three-pointer that would have cut the lead in half, but the ball caromed off the rim and Lane was able to get behind the defense on a leakout for a dunk to seal it.
McAndrews was the only player in double figures for Pomona-Pitzer, which had its other four starters combine to shoot just 8-31 from the floor. Klewer, the leading rebounder in the SCIAC coming in (9.3 rpg), did have a big game on the boards, pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds in 26 minutes. Cody Mivshek had 11 points and Lane had 10 for the Stags to support Grodahl.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action at home on Saturday when it hosts Redlands at 7 p.m. The Sagehens and CMS will have the rematch of the Sixth Street Showdown at Pomona-Pitzer's Voelkel Gymnasium on Feb. 13.