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The Sagehen Report: Week of January 9

Evan Zahniser '12 helped the Men's Basketball team hold off Cal Lutheran for a 61-56 win in its SCIAC opener on Saturday

Evan Zahniser '12 helped the Men's Basketball team hold off Cal Lutheran for a 61-56 win in its SCIAC opener on Saturday

The winter sports kicked back into action for the New Year, with the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams and the Men’s Basketball team all earning dramatic wins on the road at Cal Lutheran this Saturday.

Men’s Basketball opened its SCIAC season at Cal Lutheran and seemed to be on its way to an easy win, as the Sagehens led by 15 points (45-30) with 10 minutes to play. However, Cal Lutheran used an 18-3 run to come all the way back and tie the score at 48-48 with five minutes left. Evan Zahniser ’12 showed his senior leadership, though, as he got to the basket for a driving lay-up to break the tie and added a foul shot to start a 7-0 run.

Cal Lutheran kept fighting back, and had the score within 57-55 with just over a minute to play, but Jack Klukas ’15 snuck baseline for a key lay-up and grabbed an important defensive rebound, and John Weiss ’14 sealed the win with two foul shots as the Sagehens prevailed 61-56. Michael Cohen ’15 led the way with 14 points, while Weiss added 10  points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Pomona-Pitzer travels to Redlands on Wednesday before returning home to face Caltech on Saturday evening.

The Women’s Swimming & Diving meet on Saturday came right down to the final relay, before the Sagehens earned the 122-117 win. Pomona-Pitzer trailed heading into the final race, but the freestyle relay team of Maddy DeMeules ’14, Vicky Gyorffy ’15, Nola Shi ’15 and Alex Lincoln ’14 won by over five seconds. Lincoln also won both the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle events against Cal Lutheran, and captured the 500-yard freestyle in a non-conference victory over Lewis & Clark on Friday.  

Sarah Tuggy ’13 provided wins on both days as she earned a victory in the 200-yard breaststroke against Lewis & Clark and the 100-yard breaststroke against Cal Lutheran, while Jackie Tran ’15 won the backstroke events on both days as well.

On the men’s side, the Sagehens dominated the individual freestyle events to come away with a narrow 117-110 win over Cal Lutheran on Saturday, after an easy win over Lewis & Clark on Friday. In the Cal Lutheran meet, Hugh Berryman ’15 won the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, Joe LaBriola ’12 captured the 200-yard, and J.P. Cumming ’14 touched the wall first in the 500-yard and 1000-yard to give the Sagehens the clean sweep of the five freestyle events. Cumming and Brian Wysolmerski ’14 finished a close 1-2 in the 500-yard freestyle, which proved to be pivotal in enabling the Sagehens to clinch the meet before the final two events took place.

All-American Max Scholten ’12 also helped Pomona-Pitzer pick up key points, with easy victories in the backstroke (four seconds) and the individual medley (six seconds), as well as a dominant performance in the first leg of the 400-yard medley relay, staking the Sagehens to a five-second lead. On Friday, he even branched out into a new event and won the 200-yard freestyle against Lewis & Clark, as he continued to add to his resume which includes five school records (100 back, 200 back, 200 IM, medley relay, freestyle relay). Both swimming teams will be in action at Haldeman Pool on Saturday for another SCIAC meet against Redlands at 10:30 a.m.

The Women’s Basketball team picked up its second win of the season on New Year’s Eve, a 76-65 home win over Transylvania as five players scored in double figures, led by Alexis Sones ’13 with 21. Asha Gipson ’12 also had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. The Sagehens then fell in their first two SCIAC games, both on the road (at Redlands and Cal Lutheran), but they will hope to turn things around at the Rains Center with two home games this week, against Occidental on Thursday (7:30 p.m.) and Caltech on Saturday (5 p.m.).