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Men's Basketball Finishes Season in 2nd Place

The Sagehens go up against Occidental College in Men's Basketball

The Pomona-Pitzer Men’s Basketball team finished the regular season in second place after a busy week with two close wins and one close loss. The team made its way to the SCIAC finals last week after a 55-54 victory in double overtime over Occidental in the final regular season game and a 74-71 win over Cal Lutheran in a home game.The Sagecocks went up against hometown rivals Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the Tournament final game last Saturday, ultimately losing 57-53 to the Stags. Read on for details of each game, as well as the team members who made the All SCIAC First and Second Teams and the player who received the 2010 Ted Ducey Award.

Final Regular Season Game

In the final regular season game of 2010 on February 23, Pomona-Pitzer's Men's Basketball team hosted Occidental College. The Sagecocks entered the game in a three-way tie for third place and trailing Oxy by one game in the conference standings. Prior to the tip, the seniors on the 2009-2010 squad were recognized for their contributions over the last four years. Kael Kristof (Mercer Island, WA), Colin Reinstedt of Pitzer (Ashland, OR), David Liss (San Francisco), Adam Chaimowitz (San Diego), and Justin Sexton (Watertown, MA) all were acknowledged for their hard work, dedication, passion and success as student-athletes.

Following the ceremony, both teams burst out of the gate, exchanging baskets and the lead. At the intermission, Pomona-Pitzer held a slim 32-31 edge. Early in the second half, the Sagecocks appeared to be taking control, pushing their lead to 44-36.  But the Tigers responded, and with three minutes remaining, the score was knotted at 47. After trading buckets and the score tied at 52, Oxy had the ball with 47 seconds to play. The Tigers scored a two-pointer with 22 seconds remaining to take a 54-52 lead. Off of a quick inbound, David Liss ’10 pushed the ball down the floor and found Adam Chaimowitz ‘10, rolling off of a Justin Sexton ’10 screen. Chaimowitz' sideline three-pointer snapped the net, putting the Hens ahead 55-54 with 12 seconds to play. As the final seconds ticked down, Colin Reinstedt PI ’10 blocked the final Oxy attempt and the Sagecocks grabbed the 55-54 win.

Liss led the scoring for Pomona-Pitzer with 20 points. Shawn Stephan ‘11 finished with 14, Chaimowitz nine, and Sexton added eight points and 12 rebounds. The victory pushed the Hens into a tie for second place in the final conference standings heading into the conference tournament, but when the dust settled and the tiebreaker rules were sorted, Pomona-Pitzer received the #2 seed in the tournament.

Semifinal Game

In the semifinal game of the SCIAC Tournament, second-seeded Pomona-Pitzer hosted third-seeded Cal Lutheran on February 26. Before an enthusiastic crowd in Voelkel Gym, the two teams went back and forth for the first 20 minutes, with Cal Lu holding a 29-26 lead over Pomona-Pitzer at the break. The teams continued to trade the lead, and with 42 seconds to play, the game was knotted at 59. A stop and defensive rebound with 17 seconds left gave the Sagecocks a chance for the game winner. A fade away 14-footer by Sexton caught the front iron and fell short, sending the game into overtime.

In the extra period, Cal Lu took an early lead, but a three-pointer by Chaimowitz pulled Pomona-Pitzer within two, 66-64, with 49 seconds left. The Hens made a defensive stop and, with three seconds to play, Liss was fouled driving to the hole. The senior guard made both free throws, knotting the score at 66. A Cal Lu shot from half court missed at the buzzer sending the game into a second overtime.

Again the Kingsman grabbed the early lead, but back to back three-pointers by Liss and Chaimowitz gave Pomona-Pitzer a 73-71 lead with under a minute to go.  The Hens had the ball with the shot clock winding down, and 15 seconds on the game clock when freshman Donald Okpalugo was fouled on his move to the basket. Okpalugo made one of two from the line, and a Cal Lu attempt in the final seconds missed, giving Pomona-Pitzer a 74-71 win.

Sexton led the Sagehen attack with 29 points, Liss finished with 13, Chaimowitz and Stephan chipped in with nine each.

The Final Game

The following night, Pomona-Pitzer was at CMS for the SCIAC Tournament Championship game. After trailing most of the first half, the Sagecocks began to take control and went into the half-time break with a 33-29 advantage. The score remained tight, until a CMS surge midway through the second half put the Stags on top, 47-40 with just over eight minutes to play. The Sagecocks began to grind their way back, and trailed 55-51 with 1:44 to play. A missed three by Chaimowitz, a defensive stop at the other end, and a bank shot by Liss had the Sagecocks to within 55-53 with 53 seconds to play.

Pomona-Pitzer came up with another defensive stop and had the ball in the front court with 12 seconds to play. Liss drove the baseline and as the help rotated, he dished the ball to Reinstedt who appeared open under the basket. The ball was knocked loose and recovered by CMS. A pair of free throws in the final seconds gave CMS a 57-53 win.

Liss finished with 14, Sexton with 12, Chaimowitz nine, and Kael Kristof ’10 five. After shooting 54% in the first half, the Sagecocks connected on only 26% in the second half.

Awards

Seniors Justin Sexton and David Liss were selected to the All SCIAC First Team, and senior Adam Chaimowitz was selected All SCIAC Second Team. Colin Reinstedt received the 2010 Ted Ducey Award, an annual award given to a SCIAC senior who best exemplifies the high ideals demonstrated by Coach Ted Ducey; the criteria includes ability, leadership, sportsmanship, determination and academic pursuits.