Pomona-Pitzer Comes Up Just Short Against No. 22 North Central

Pomona-Pitzer Comes Up Just Short Against No. 22 North Central

Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team trailed No. 22 North Central (Ill.) by 17 points in the first half, came back to hold a three-point lead in the final minute, but fell 79-77 in overtime on Thursday evening at Voelkel Gymnasium. 

With the win, North Central improves to 5-0 on the year, while Pomona-Pitzer slips to 2-3 with the loss, after playing its first five games without leading returning scorer Kyle McAndrews (17.8 ppg in 2013-14), who is expected back next week. 

The Cardinals received 22 points from Jayme Moten on 8-11 shooting (6-8 from three-point territory), including a steal and tying three-pointer in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Charles Rosenberg added 22 points on 10-11 shooting for North Central, which shot 62.5 percent on the day.

Senior guard Michael Cohen led the Sagehens with 21 on 5-9 shooting from three-point territory and had six assists, while junior forward Gibson Farone-Collins had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists. 

The Sagehens almost picked up a ranked win without McAndrews, as senior guard Joe Eyen (pictured) broke a 65-65 tie with a three-pointer from the top of the key with just under two minutes remaining. North Central came back with a Rosenberg bucket to close the lead to one, but Farone-Collins found Cohen on a pretty back cut with 1:02 to play to push the lead to 70-67.

Pomona-Pitzer earned a stop as Farone-Collins pulled in a defensive rebound off a missed three-pointer, but with North Central scrambling to foul, Moten reached around from behind and poked the ball free all the way up to midcourt. Jack Burchett got to the loose ball first and then fired the ball to Moten in the left corner, who buried the tying three-pointer with 27 seconds left. 

The Cardinals, who had been called for only one foul in the second half, used up their five fouls to give to whittle the clock away on the last Pomona-Pitzer possession. The Sagehens ended up with the ball under their own basket with 2.1 seconds left and got it in to Farone-Collins, who was forced to shoot an 18-foot fadeaway that hit off the front rim as the horn blew.

A Cohen three-pointer put the Sagehens ahead 75-72 in overtime, but Moten answered with his sixth three-pointer to tie it, and a Rosenberg steal and dunk gave the Cardinals a 77-75 lead. Senior guard Adrian Brandon had a steal and dunk to tie the score 77-77, but Burchett hit a five-foot jump hook from the left block to give the Cardinals the lead back. 

The Sagehens got one final stop with 20 seconds left, and Cohen broke down the defense before finding Farone-Collins on the left baseline, but his 10-foot jumper rattled out. The loose ball bounced out of bounds in the corner with 0.8 seconds left, giving Pomona-Pitzer one final chance, but Brandon White deflected the pass away and back over midcourt to end the game with the Cardinals ahead 79-77. 
 
Moten hit his first six shots from the floor (four three-pointers) to held North Central out to a 33-16 lead in the first half. The Sagehens got within 40-29 at the break on a three-pointer from Hunter Lowry at the buzzer, and then got back in it early in the second half behind two Eyen three-pointers, closing the deficit to 45-42 at the 15:58 mark. 

Eyen finished with 12 points to give the Sagehens three players in double figures, while David Fuller had 10 for North Central, and Burchett added nine, including the game-winner. 

Pomona-Pitzer is back in action next Wednesday when it hosts Bristol University for a 7 p.m. tip.