Redlands Defense Stymies Pomona-Pitzer In Fulmer Championship Game
Redlands, Calif. – The Redlands Men's Basketball team used a stifling defense to capture a 67-54 win over Pomona-Pitzer in the championship game of the Lee Fulmer Memorial Tournament on Saturday evening.
With the loss, Pomona-Pitzer has its four-game winning streak snapped as it slips to 4-2 on the season, while Redlands, which was led by Brian Kuklok with 19 points and Tournament MVP Tristin Kirk with 16, improves to 3-3 overall, including 3-0 at its tournament this weekend.
Pomona-Pitzer came into the game shooting over 55 percent from the floor through its first five games, but struggled shooting the ball against Redlands, hitting just 33 percent overall (20-60) and 5-26 from three-point territory (19 percent).
The Sagehens were led by freshman guard Kyle McAndrews (Seattle, Wash.) with a career-high 16 points and sophomore forward John Weiss (Cleveland, Ohio) with 12. Weiss was named to the All-Tournament team for his performance over the three games for the Sagehens.
The game was a closely-contested battle until late in the first half, when Redlands went on a 13-0 run to stretch a 24-22 lead into a 37-22 advantage. Freshman forward Jack Klukas (Eden Prairie, Minn.) stopped the slide with an assist and a three-pointer to get the Sagehens back within 37-27, but Kirk hit a short jumper in the final minute of the opening half to give the Bulldogs a 39-27 lead at the break.
The Sagehens tried to creep closer in the second half, but could not sustain any momentum on the offensive end of the floor to get the margin below eight. Kirk put a dent in the comeback hopes with a deep three-pointer as the shot clock was winding down and a pull-up jumper from the left baseline to make the score 53-40, and Stephen Call added a three-pointer to push the lead to 56-40. Pomona-Pitzer, which was playing without leading scorer Michael Cohen (Tarzana, Calif.) due to injury, was unable to threaten the rest of the way.
Sophomore forward Jake Klewer (Tucson, Ariz.) had a team-high eight rebounds but was held to only four points. Jack Colston had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action when it travels to Biola on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. contest.