WALLA WALLA, WA. – The No. 11 Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team came away with a 58-37 win in Round One of the NCAA Tournament over Texas-Dallas on Friday night.
Season Impact: With the win, the Sagehens improve to 26-2 overall and advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.
The Sagehens had three players in double digits. Leading the way was junior Micah Elan who tallied a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Corbin Koch tallied 12 points while senior Daniel Rosenbaum had 10 points and eight rebounds in the win.
Pomona-Pitzer had a good first half shooting from beyond the arc that guided them to a sizeable lead as they went 5-12 from three for 41.7%. The Sagehen defense came up big in the first half as they completely shut down the Comets and held them to just 7-33 from the floor for 21.2% and 2-12 from three for 16.7%.
Pomona-Pitzer came out hot on offense as they quickly jumped out to a 9-0 lead. The defense was energetic as well for the Sagehens after back-to-back blocked shots forced a timeout by Texas-Dallas just three minutes into the half.
Pomona-Pitzer came away with another blocked shot out of the timeout but UT-Dallas got back into the game with a 7-0 run to cut the lead down to 9-7.
The offense struggled for both teams after the runs with a Rosenbaum three being the only scoring for the next five minutes of the first half into the second media timeout with 11:21 left until halftime.
The Sagehens' offense began to pick up but the Comets' offense continued to struggle to put up points. Texas-Dallas went scoreless for 10 minutes after their 7-0 run and didn't get back on the scoreboard until 4:09 left to go in the half.
During that period of the time, the Sagehens took over the first half with a 13-0 run to extend their lead to 23-9 with just over four minutes remaining until halftime. The Comets tried to chip away at the lead late in the first half, but the exceptional three-point shooting by the Sagehens gave them a 30-16 lead heading into the locker room. Koch led the way with 10 and Rosenbaum tallied seven points and four rebounds.
The Comets had a slightly better second half from the floor with 21 points, but the Sagehens still outscored Texas-Dallas 28-21. The Sagehens got off to another hot start and extended their lead to 20 points at 44-24, but Texas-Dallas started to mount what looked like a small comeback as they got within 13 points at 46-33 with 7:29 to go. The Sagehens regrouped and put up some points late in the second half as Pomona-Pitzer came away with their first NCAA Tournament win since 2003.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next take on regional host, Whitman, on Saturday, March 2nd at 7:00 p.m.