CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Basketball Team got a much-needed bounce-back victory on Saturday evening, defeating UC Santa Cruz at Voelkel Gym 71-68. The Sagehens out-muscled the Banana Slugs on the glass 41 to 30 and shot 45% from the field. Renae Tamura tied for the game-high 15 points and had two steals while Amara Chidom also scored 15 and grabbed seven boards off the bench. Senior Keilani Ikehara reached a historic milestone, nabbing her 250th career assist.
Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to a 6-3 record overall after tonight's victory.
The game got off to a slow start for both sides as they were tied 4-4 with 5:52 left in the first quarter. Keilani Ikehara gave the Sagehens their first lead of the game with a jumper off a pass by Kamil English. Later with the Slugs ahead 16-8, Tamura and Anita Romero scored back-to-back buckets to cut the lead to four with 25 seconds left. On the following possession, Kaylee Murphy of UCSC had the ball smacked out of her hand by Chidom in the paint, igniting a fast break. Tamura went up for a jumper, but her attempt missed. Chidom leapt for the offensive board with a second left in the period and quickly went up for a layup to cut the lead to 16-14.
Chidom hit an elbow jumper to get the Sagehens' offense going in the second quarter, cutting the Slugs' lead 19-18. Madison Quan followed with a spot up jumper off a pass from Chidom to lead 20-19 with 7:26 left in the half. Leading 29-25, the Sagehens padded their advantage when Quan drove in for a layup to extend the lead 31-25 with 53 seconds left. They lead 31-27 at the half.
Romero opened up the second half with a baseline jumper and Vanessa Hsia followed up with a close range pull up to extend the lead 35-27. On the following possession, Ikehara ignited a fast break with a quick steal and found Tamura on the outlet for an easy bucket. Quan showed off her incredible vision with 7:02 left in the quarter, dribbling into the paint and threading a pinpoint pass through traffic to Chidom who finished the layup, extending the lead 40-32. However, the Banana Slugs went on a run to tie the game at 40. Pomona-Pitzer got back with another rally, took advantage of the foul calls and converted seven free throws, including a layup by English, to lead 49-41. Later, English found a cutting Quan for a layup to extend the lead 53-42. The Sagehens led 56-47 after the third quarter.
The Sagehens built a 62-49 lead in the final quarter with 7:50 left, but the Banana Slugs made some adjustments to string a comeback. After seeing their lead cut to 64-58, the Sagehens staved off the Slugs' rally thanks to a catch-and-shoot three by Tamura with 3:56 left. UCSC tried to rally back again by cutting the lead 69-65, but Romero stopped the momentum with a nifty pass to a cutting Ikehara in the paint for a layup with 1:28 left. With a 71-68 lead and four seconds left on the clock, the Sagehens got a much-needed stop when the Slugs missed a long distance three-point attempt and Tamura leapt for the game-clinching rebound.
Up Next: The Sagehens will host Knox on Wednesday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m.