Men's Basketball: No. 23 Sagehens Hold Off Tigers At Home, 70-65

Men's Basketball: No. 23 Sagehens Hold Off Tigers At Home, 70-65

CLAREMONT, CA. – The No.23 Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team extended their win streak to 11 games with a 70-65 win over Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opponent Occidental on Monday night at Voelkel Gymnasium.

Season Impact:  With the win, the Sagehens improve to 15-1 overall and stay perfect in the SCIAC schedule at 7-0.

The Sagehens had a team effort in the win tonight led by senior Daniel Rosenbaum who notched a team-high 14 points in the win. Senior Corbin Koch had 13 points and five rebounds, junior Micah Elan had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists and sophomore Alex Preston also reached double digits with 11 points and eight rebounds.

The first meeting of the Sagehens and Tigers lived up to the hype with the largest lead of the night for either team was just seven points in a game that saw 10 ties and a whopping 24 lead changes.

The game started as a close first half between the top two teams in the SCIAC standings. The largest lead of the half belonged to the Sagehens who went up seven points at 27-20 after an Elan three with 6:22 left in the half. The Tigers came back late in the first half as the Sagehens' offense went cold and Occidental notched the final six points of the half to cut the lead down to just one point.

The Sagehens went into the locker room with a slight 32-31 lead thanks in part to their shooting percentage in the first half.  Pomona-Pitzer shot 42.9% from the floor opposed to Occidental who shot just 39.3% but the Tigers hit three of their four three-pointers in the first half to keep the game close. The Tigers outrebounded the Sagehens in the first half 21-15, but Pomona-Pitzer tallied 14 points in the paint while Oxy managed to get just eight.

The second half was an exhilarating 20 minutes of basketball with both teams throwing punch after punch to gain the top spot in the SCIAC standings.  The two teams went back and forth as the lead changed hands 21 times in the second half alone.

Picking the game up late in the second half, Occidental held a two-point lead at 59-57 after a made free throw with 3:33 remaining.  The Sagehens responded with a big three-pointer by Koch to take back the lead at 60-59.  The Tigers responded a retook the lead a few minutes later after a Zach Baines jumper, but a huge three by junior Adam Rees gave the Sagehens a 67-65 lead with 1:23 left to go.

Occidental had a big chance to take back the lead as they got a wide open three in the corner, but the ball rimmed out and forced the Tigers to foul. Elan hit one of two free-throws to extend the lead to three points at 68-65.  The Sagehens decided to foul on the final possession and not allow Occidental to attempt a game-tying three. The Tigers missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and Koch was able to close out the game at the free-throw line as the Sagehens kept their perfect conference record alive.

Up Next: The Sagehens will next travel to Caltech on Saturday, January 19th at 7:30 p.m.