CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Basketball Team was dealt a close loss at Voelkel Gymnasium to No. 13 Saint Joseph (Me.) on Saturday afternoon, falling 74-70.
Season Impact: With the loss, the Sagehens fall are now 7-4 overall.
Three Sagehens finished the game scoring in double digits as Kamil English led the team with 20 points while Carly Leong added 18 points off the bench. First year Amara Chidom led with 12 rebounds off the bench and two blocks.
The Saint Joseph Monks were led by Kelsi McNamara who broke out with 40 points and nine rebounds.
Even though the Sagehens attacked the Monks' defense inside and out, the skillful playmaking from McNamara made all the difference in tonight's match as the Saint Joseph senior hit shots all over the floor and generate open looks for her teammates.
The game started off fairly even for both teams, as they traded baskets for majority of the first quarter. However, with the Monks ahead 18-16 with 1:35 remaining, the visiting side went on a small 4-0 run after two free throws by McNamara and a close-range jumper by Emily Benway. A layup from English closed the gap 22-18 at the end of the quarter.
Leong got the Sagehens' offense going with a banked three off a handoff from Cameron Edward to cut the Monks' lead 24-21. Later as they trailed 28-23, the Sagehens' offense saw some spark when English drove to the paint and hit a floater with 5:20 remaining. Keilani Ikehara followed with a driving layup to cut the lead 28-27. The Monks later went on a 6-0 run and closed the half with a 39-33 lead.
The two sides traded baskets to start the third quarter as the Sagehens looked to catch up with the Monks. With 5:41 left in the quarter, Leong banked a layup off a pass by Ikehara to bring the deficit down 49-45. Later, Ikehara received a quick pass from Madison Quan and drove in for a layup to bring the Sagehens within two. The Sagehens finally took the lead after two free throws from Leong, but it was shortlived as a McNamara three brought the Monks ahead 56-54 to end the quarter.
Despite the Sagehens' best efforts to close the gap during the final quarter, the McNamara managed to find an answer to preserve the lead. Trailing 68-61, the Sagehens scored four straight with 2:59 remaining to make it a one-possession game. However, a pair of free throws by McNamara put the Monks back up by five. English responded with a huge three-pointer to cut the deficit to two, but the Sagehens couldn't capitalize on taking the lead on the following possessions as the Monks' defense held on in the final seconds.
"This game was a battle from the start against a great team," said Head Coach Jill Pace. "I am proud of the way we competed. We got better today and will take what we learned into our game against another great opponent tomorrow."
Up Next: The Sagehens will host Colby College tomorrow, December 30 at 3:00 p.m.