Senior Guards Lead Way As Sagehens Cruise Past Occidental

Senior Guards Lead Way As Sagehens Cruise Past Occidental

Claremont, Calif. - Senior guards Kyle McAndrews (21), Michael Cohen (18) and Adrian Brandon (15) combined for 54 points on 19-30 shooting to lead the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team to an 83-65 win over Occidental on Saturday evening at Voelkel Gymnasium. 

With the win, the Sagehens have climbed all the way back to 6-6 in the SCIAC after an 0-5 start and improve to 8-13 on the year. Occidental slips to 9-11 overall and 5-7 in the SCIAC with the loss. 

Pomona-Pitzer had five players in double figures as junior forward Gibson Farone-Collins had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and junior forward Isaac Levy-Rubinett added a season-high 10 points. Cohen (pictured, photo by Tracy Maple) shot 6-8 from the floor for 18 points and added six assists. Brandon was 6-7 for 15 points, to go along with five rebounds.

The game was tight in the latter stages of the first half, but the Sagehens scored the final five points to take a 41-35 lead, as Cohen hit all three foul shots after being fouled shooting behind the arc, and Levy-Rubinett added a tip-in with 12 seconds left. The momentum carried over into the second half as Cohen hit a three-pointer on the first possession and McAndrews had a fast break dunk to push the lead to 46-35, capping a 10-0 run which overlapped both halves.  

Levy-Rubinett had back to back baskets to start another 10-0 run, which pushed a 48-38 lead up to 20 points (58-38) with 13:01 left. A Cohen three-pointer gave the Sagehens their largest lead at 21 points, but Occidental was able to respond with an 11-0 run, capped by a Spencer Levy three-pointer to close within 63-53 with 9:39 to play.

Cohen settled the team down, though, by making a pullup jumper and then sneaking back door for a layup off a Farone-Collins feed to get the lead back to 14. Occidental was unable to get closer than 10, as the Sagehens closed out the game on an 8-0 run to make the final score 85-67, its largest scoring output in regulation since a 91-61 win over Grove City on Nov. 28. Cohen and Farone-Collins were among the Sagehens who were out of action during much of the 0-5 start to conference play with injuries, but Pomona-Pitzer has responded by going 6-1 since getting its full lineup back. 

Levy scored 21 points for Occidental to match McAndrews for game-high honors, while Jay Miller had 14, Andrew Johnson 12 and Juwan Rice 11. Pomona-Pitzer finished with a 41-24 rebounding edge, behind 10 from Farone-Collins.

The Sagehens will be back in action when they host Caltech on Saturday for a 4 p.m. contest. The Beavers have won their last two games, including a 92-77 win over Whittier on Saturday.