Claremont, Calif. - Kyle McAndrews scored a season-high 29 points and Joe Eyen (pictured) had a career-high 18 points on six three-pointers as the five seniors on the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Basketball team ended their careers with a 71-62 win over Whittier on Tuesday at Voelkel Gymnasium.
The win concludes Pomona-Pitzer's season at 10-15 overall and 8-8 in the SCIAC, as the Sagehens almost recovered from an 0-5 start in league play while Eyen and fellow senior Michael Cohen were out with injuries. However, Pomona-Pitzer's loss to Redlands on Saturday, and Whittier's win over Redlands on Monday clinched the fourth and final spot in the SCIAC Tournament for Whittier (15-10, 9-7 SCIAC), even before Tuesday night's game took place.
With nothing to play for, the Sagehens came out hungry, as senior guard Adrian Brandon was potentially on his way to a double-double in the first half, before missing the final eight minutes with three fouls after tallying six points and eight rebounds. The Poets, though, slowly built up a seven-point lead with 4:46 left in the half, before McAndrews buried a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to pull the Sagehens within 33-32.
Brandon scored on the first Pomona-Pitzer possession of the second half to start a 6-0 run, and the Sagehens would not trail again. Gibson Farone-Collins followed with a short jumper from the left block off an assist from Cohen, one of his six on the day, and McAndrews hit two foul shots to make the score 38-33.
Eyen then heated up in the second half, making four three-pointers after halftime to set new career highs in points (18) and three-pointers made (six), passing his previous bests of 17 and five, respectively, against Caltech earlier this year. His final two three-pointers came on back-to-back possessions to turn a 63-56 lead into a 69-58 advantage with 2:53 to go.
McAndrews led the Sagehens in points, Brandon tied for the team lead in rebounds with 10, Cohen led in assists with six, and Eyen led in three-pointers with six, as the seniors figured prominently in the final box score. Fellow senior Jesse Medina, a walk-on who began his Pomona-Pitzer career on the track and field team, was able to check in during the final minute to see action in his last game as well.
Whittier, which moves on to the SCIAC semifinals on Friday, was led by Nick Demusis with 13 points and Ben Maynard with 12 on four three-pointers.
Pomona-Pitzer returns all of its frontcourt players next season, but will have to replace a backcourt that combined to score almost 3,000 points over the last four years, including 1,365 points from McAndrews and 1,026 from Cohen.