Head Basketball Coach Charles Katsiaficas, in his 26th season with the Sagehens, picked up his 400th career win as Pomona-Pitzer used a late surge to defeat Trinity 68-63 on Monday afternoon.
With the win, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 6-5 on the year, while Katsiaficas improves to 400-281 with the Sagehens. In a unique twist, he also picked up his milestone win in San Antonio (at the Trinity University Classic), where his old boss, former Pomona-Pitzer Head Coach Gregg Popovich, currently coaches the San Antonio Spurs.
Senior forward Jake Klewer led the way for the Sagehens with 11 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. Junior guard Kyle McAndrews had a team-high 14 points, while senior forward John Weiss and junior guard Michael Cohen each had 10 points.
Pomona-Pitzer got off to a torrid start, jumping out to a 16-2 lead while holding Trinity without a field goal for almost the first 10 minutes. A three-pointer from junior guard Joe Eyen with 10:32 left in the half made the score 16-2, before Trinity answered with a three-pointer at the 10:08 mark for its first field goal.
Trinity was able to claw back within 31-24 at the break after the Sagehens led by as many as 16, closing out the stanza with a 10-1 run. Trinity took its first lead on a three-pointer from Joe Shotland with 9:24 left and led 54-50 with 4:52 left after a Jimmy Clark foul shot.
However, the Sagehens answered with a 10-0 run to take control, as McAndrews hit a jumper in the paint, Eyen hit a three-pointer, Cohen hit two foul shots, and McAndrews buried a three-pointer with 2:27 left to make the score 60-54. The Sagehens then made 8-10 foul shots down the stretch to prevent Trinity from making a late run.
Katsiaficas served as an assistant coach for Popovich at Pomona-Pitzer in the mid 1980's, and served one year as an interim head coach for the Sagehens in 1986-87 while Popovich took a one-year sabbatical (to work with Larry Brown at Kansas). One year later, Popovich left Pomona-Pitzer to become Larry Brown's assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, and Katsiaficas took over the Sagehen helm permanently. He has led the Sagehens to 10 SCIAC Championships and 11 berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament.