Redlands Damages Sagehens Postseason Hopes With Upset Win

Redlands Damages Sagehens Postseason Hopes With Upset Win

Redlands, Calif. - Aljosa Bjekovic had 19 points, including 5-6 from beyond the arc, as the Redlands Men's Basketball team overcame a 15-point first half deficit and captured a 71-62 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday evening.

The loss drops Pomona-Pitzer's record to 9-15 overall and 7-8 in the SCIAC, and means that the Sagehens will now have to hope Redlands can defeat Whittier on Monday to have any chance at the SCIAC Tournament. Pomona-Pitzer closes out with Whittier, who is 8-6 in the SCIAC, at home on Tuesday and would have the tiebreaker if both teams finished 8-8 (although Occidental could also finish 8-8 and Whittier would win the three-way tiebreaker.

Senior guards Michael Cohen (24 points - pictured) and Kyle McAndrews (18 points) had big days scoring but did not get much help as they accounted for 42 of the 62 Sagehen points. Cohen also joined the 1,000-point club early in the contest and now has 1,020 in his four seasons (McAndrews reached that milestone in the season finale last year).

Pomona-Pitzer started the game with a dominant defensive effort and led 19-4 with eight minutes left in the first half after a McAndrews jumper. Redlands got back within 23-15 after a Bjekovic three-pointer, but the Sagehens still maintained a 28-17 lead at the break.

Bjekovic then hit two three-pointers early in the second half to help get the Bulldogs within 31-28 just four minutes in. Pomona-Pitzer kept the lead for a while, but a 10-0 Redlands run made the score 41-37 in favor of the Bulldogs with 8:33 left and the Sagehens were unable to get the lead back the rest of the way. A McAndrews three-pointer and a Cohen jumper closed an 11-point deficit down to 54-48 with 2:57 left, but that was as close as Pomona-Pitzer would come.

Blake O'Brien added 18 points and Sean Milligan added 14 for Redlands, which had lost nine in a row entering the week before upsetting Chapman on Tuesday and knocking off the Sagehens this evening. Another Redlands upset on Monday over Whittier could re-open the door for Pomona-Pitzer to earn the fourth seed in the SCIAC Tournament with a home win on Tuesday night over Whittier.