SANTA CLARA, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball Team dropped Sunday's match against host UC Santa Cruz on Sunday evening in the final day of the Mission Inn Tipoff Classic, falling 71-67.
Junior Rex Bodia led the Sagehens in scoring, putting up 14 points off the bench and grabbing 10 rebounds. Micah Elan put up 12 points and led with four assists and Daniel Rosenbaum added eight points with 10 rebounds. Kyle Creighton did most of the damage for the Banana Slugs' offense, scoring 19 points, going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, and leading the Slugs with three blocks. Corey Cilia sparked the Slugs' bench with 17 points.
The two teams were fairly tight for majority of the game, as neither side were able to build a double-digit lead over each other. However, the three-pointers converted by the Banana Slugs made all the difference, as they made 10-of-16.
The game opened up as a back-and-forth affair as the two sides traded baskets for majority of the first half. However, with the Hens leading 20-19, Rosenbaum made a timely three-pointer off a dribble pitch to extend the lead 23-19. Following an offensive foul by Tyler Klingenbeck of UC Santa Cruz, Glenn Leininger put in work in the post, shaking off his defender with two pivots and scoring an easy layup. The Hens battled through to maintain their five-point lead, but with 1:35 remaining in the half, the Slugs tied it up 33 apiece. With 21 seconds left, Elan got fouled after grabbing a defensive rebound and made both his free throws and the Hens led 35-33 at the half.
The Hens looked hot off the gate in the second half, as Rosenbaum forced a turnover which led to a layup from Corbin Koch. The Hens built back the five-point lead, but with 16:44 left in the second half, Creighton sparked a 5-0 run as Will Crain capped the run with a free throw to tie it 39-39. With 15:16 left with the Hens leading 43-42, the Slugs broke out on a 9-0 run, including three-pointers from Corey Cilia and Sam Gabbard to build a 51-43 lead. The Slugs held onto their eight-point lead, negating any chance of the Hens going on a run. However, trailing 57-50, the Hens battled back with 5:08 left in the game. Bodia took advantage of a turnover by the Slugs, by dribbling to the top of the key and hitting a floater to cut the deficit to five. After Preston made two free throws, Koch took a short pass and hit a three-pointer to come within two with 2:37 remaining in the game.
Unfortunately, the Hens never managed to close the gap as the Slugs made key baskets in response to the Sagehens' offense and won the game 71-67.
The Hens will travel to La Mirada, California to face Biola on Tuesday, November 21 at 7 p.m.