CLAREMONT, CA. – The final match of the David Wells Classic brought fireworks to Voelkel Gymnasium on Saturday night as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball Team prevailed in a double overtime thriller victory over No. 4 Whitman College 112 to 109. It was the first time in program history the Sagehens defeated a Top-5 program in the country. The game provided plenty of drama with emphatic dunks, buzzer-beating threes, and a game-saving block. The Sagehens dazzled on both ends of the floor, shooting 50.7% from the field, including 41.7% from behind the arc, while collecting nine steals and stuffing three blocks. Micah Elan scored a career-high 38 points and delivered six assists while Daniel Rosenbaum added 25 points, including a clutch game-tying three. Alex Preston also made a major impact, scoring 22 points with two dunks, grabbing eight boards, and spiking down two blocks. On the other side, Whitman's offense was led by Joey Hewitt who scored 28 points while Austin Butler led the team with 12 rebounds and 12 assists.
The first half set the tone for how close the entire game would be. Both teams traded baskets throughout the half, showcasing their precise ball movement and ability to find the open man. Trailing 26-25 with 7:57 left in the half, the Blues put together a 7-0 run sparked by a jumper from Butler, followed by a three by Jase Harrison. The Blues led 32-26 after the run. Trailing 35-28, the Sagehens caught a break with a much-needed corner three by Elan off a well-executed laser pass by Matthew Eberle to cut the lead to four. Elan hit another three off a pass by Adam Rees and later Corbin Koch muscled his way to the paint made a layup high off the glass to give the Sagehens a 36-35 lead with 2:21 left in the half. A three-pointer by the Blues gave them a 40-39 lead, but with six seconds remaining, Micah Elan threw a bounce pass to the racing Alex Preston in the paint who then rose up for a dunk to take back the lead 41-40. However, the Blues took back the lead with a buzzer-beating three pointer by Hewitt.
The Sagehens refused to let the buzzer-beating three rattle their confidence at the start of the second half. As the Blues took at 48-44 lead, Elan once again kept the Blues at their feet with a three to bring the Sagehens within one. After a scooping layup by Elan, the Sagehens took back the lead with another Preston jam who was also fouled on the play. Preston hit the following free throw to extend the lead 52-50 with 16:39 left in regulation. Tied at 59 apiece, the Sagehens finally broke out with a 6-0 run that was capped by a tip-in by Preston off Rosenbaum's miss. The Sagehens tried to maintain their lead, but a 9-2 run by the Blues narrowed it to one point. Whitman tried to preserve the clock in the final minute by sending the Sagehens to the line after the home side led 82-79. After a brief 3-0 run by the Sagehens off free throws, the Blues kept their hopes alive with back-to-back threes to tie the game with eight seconds left, sending the game to overtime.
In the first overtime, the Blues managed to lead 96-93 with 20 seconds remaining thanks to a three-pointer by Hewitt. With the clock winding down, the Rosenbaum managed to bank a layup off the glass to cut the lead to one with 12 seconds left. After Darne Duckett converted two free throws after the foul, the Sagehens called a timeout with 6.5 seconds remaining on the clock. On the inbound play, Koch inbounded a pass to Rosenbaum in the right corner for three to tie the game at 98 apiece and send it to double overtime.
After the Blues scored the first basket in the second overtime, the Sagehens cut the deficit to one after a free throw by Preston. Trailing 100-99, Elan kicked his game to second gear and converted two straight pull-up jumpers from midrange to give the Sagehens a 103-100 lead. After the Blues tied with at 103 apiece with a three-pointer, Elan responded with a triple of his own off a pass by Koch. With 1:05 remaining, Rosenbaum delivered the potential dagger with a corner-three from the same exact spot he hit in the first overtime. With 23 seconds remaining and the lead down with 109-106, Koch had his moment to shine, grabbing the offensive rebound off Elan's miss and hitting the put-back jumper to extend the lead 111-106. He was fouled later with 11 seconds remaining and hit one free throw to put the lead 112-109. With six seconds left in the game, the Sagehens managed to land a foul before Butler got a shot in motion from behind the arc and sent him to the line for two free throws. Butler missed both, but the Blues managed to grab the offensive board. In the dying seconds of the clock, Hewitt tried to launch a three, but Jack Boyle leapt in front of him for the game-saving block at the sound of the buzzer.
Up Next: The Sagehens will head to St. Louis, Missouri to face Washington University (Mo.) for the 35th Annual Lopata Classic on Friday, November 30 at 5:00 p.m.