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January 18, 2014

Sagehens Hold Off Late Rally, Earn 89-83 Win Over UC Santa Cruz

SAGEHENS HOLD OFF UC SANTA CRUZ RALLY FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN

Claremont, Calif. - Junior guard Kyle McAndrews had 27 points on 10-14 shooting (5-5 from three-point territory) as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team held off a late charge from UC Santa Cruz to capture an 89-83 win in a non-conference game on Saturday afternoon at Voelkel Gymnasium.

Senior forward John Weiss (pictured) added 17 points on 4-6 shooting from the floor and 6-6 from the foul line for Pomona-Pitzer, which won its sixth in a row to improve to 11-5 on the year. UC Santa Cruz, which was led by 29 points from Jared Ponce, slips to 3-16 with the loss.

Pomona-Pitzer broke open a close game at the half (35-32) to take a commanding 17-point lead on three occasions. An alley-oop from junior guard Michael Cohen to senior forward Jake Klewer made the score 50-39 with 15:37 to go, and a pair of foul shots from Weiss pushed the lead to 69-52 with 9:42 left.

The teams traded baskets for the next several minutes, with a McAndrews jumper making the score 71-54 and a lay-up from freshman guard Nick Nordale extending the lead to 73-56. UC Santa Cruz then went on a 7-0 to run to pull within 73-63 with 7:09 to go.

A McAndrews three-pointer with 3:39 to play had the Sagehens up 85-74 and seemingly in command, but another 7-0 run brought the Banana Slugs within 85-81 with 1:13 left on an Ilan Zur three-pointer. The Sagehens milked the shot clock all the way down, until Cohen had a runner bounce off the rim, but Klewer was there for a big offensive rebound and missing a tip-in on the initial try.

McAndrews made one of two foul shots to push the lead to 86-81, and Klewer came down with another big rebound, this time on the defensive end, to help seal the game.

Klewer had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Sagehens, while Weiss had 17 points on 4-6 shooting, and sophomore forward Gibson Farone-Collins added 15 points on 6-9 shooting off the bench. Ponce shot 10-17 from the floor and 6-10 from three-point territory for the Banana Slugs, which shot 16-30 from beyond the arc on the game to stay in the contest. Pomona-Pitzer also shot well from distance, making 11-18 on the day, led by the 5-5 from McAndrews.

The 27 points was the third-highest scoring game in McAndrews' career, all of which have come in the last 10 days. He had a career-best 32 points on Wednesday, Jan. 8 against Chapman, then had 28 in a road win over Whittier last Saturday. His previous high was 25 earlier this season in an 84-75 win in the first meeting with UC Santa Cruz on Nov. 29 .

The Sagehens will be back in action on Wednesday when they host Caltech for a 7:30 p.m. contest.