Sagehens Hold Off Whittier For Tenth SCIAC Win

Sagehens Hold Off Whittier For Tenth SCIAC Win

Claremont, Calif. - Junior guard Kyle McAndrews had 22 points and freshman guard Nick Nordale and junior guard Adrian Brandon (pictured) each added 14 as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team improved to 10-2 in the SCIAC with an 81-76 win over Whittier on Wednesday evening at Voelkel Gymnasium.

The Sagehens bounced back from a loss at Cal Lutheran on Saturday which snapped a nine-game win streak, as they improve to 15-6 overall and 10-2 in league play, one game behind first-place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (two in the loss column) at 10-0. Whittier falls to 10-9 overall and 4-6 in the SCIAC with the loss.

Pomona-Pitzer led 40-33 at the half, but had to fight off several challenges from Whittier in the second stanza. The Poets pulled even at 48-48 with 13:08 left on a three-pointer from Chris Barnes-Williams, but Brandon stepped up big with two straight three-pointers around a jumper from Whittier's Tyree Landrum to give the Sagehens a 54-50 lead.

Brandon, who studied abroad in the fall semester, had only four points all season coming into the game, but took advantage of his first extended playing time since rejoining the team (25 minutes), as Pomona-Pitzer was without injured starting guard Michael Cohen. Pomona-Pitzer extended the lead to seven on a three-pointer from John Weiss, and a driving lay-up from Brandon from the left wing stretched the lead to 59-50, completing an 11-2 run after Whittier tied the score, with eight of the points coming from Brandon.

Whittier again came back, though, as Jacob Porter hit a 30-foot three-pointer as the shot clock expired with 6:47 left to bring the Poets within 60-56. Weiss and Nordale hit long two-point shots to help get the lead up to 65-58, and after Barnes-Williams hit a tough driving bank shot, McAndrews answered the 30-foot shot from Porter with one of his own, making the score 68-60 with 2:59 left.

Barnes-Williams made three foul shots with 58 seconds left to close the gap to 72-67 and put more pressure on the Sagehens, but Pomona-Pitzer broke the Poet press and got a lay-up from Weiss. The Sagehens led by 10 with 27 seconds left (77-67) and Whittier hit three three-pointers on their final three possessions to make the final score look a little closer at 81-76.

Weiss was also in double figures for the Sagehens with 12 points. Landrum had a double-double for Whittier with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Eric Jennings and Nick Demusis tied for team high honors with 18 apiece.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action on Saturday when it hosts first-place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (10-0 SCIAC) for a 5 p.m. contest.