THOUSAND OAKS, CA. – Head Coach Charlie Katsiaficas notched win No. 500 in his career with the Sagehens' 70-48 victory over Cal Lutheran.
Katsiaficas is in his 33rd season as the coach for Pomona-Pitzer with all 500 wins coming at the helm of the Sagehen basketball program. The Sagehens have had winning records in 26 of his past 32 seasons, with the 27th of 33 well on its way. They have won 11 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and played in the NCAA Division III Tournament 11 times. Those 500 wins rank Katsiaficas 15th among all active Division III men's basketball coaches, and he has won more games than any coach in any sport in Pomona-Pitzer history.
Season Impact: With the win, the Sagehens improve to 12-3 overall and 5-1 in SCIAC play.
The Sagehens were led by junior Alex Preston who led the way with 19 points six rebounds in the win. Preston was the only Sagehen in double digits for scoring but senior James Kelbert had nine points, seven rebounds and five steals while senior Adam Rees, junior Pavle Rohalj and sophomore Matthew Eberle all chipped in with eight points each.
Pomona-Pitzer got out to a quick start against the Kinsgmen as Preston connected on a few early buckets including a three-pointer to give the Sagehens a 7-0 start and forced Cal Lutheran to burn an early timeout. Cal Lutheran got their first basketball of the game on the ensuing possession, but the Sagehens kept scoring baskets and extended the lead to 15-2 before the Kingsmen took their second timeout of the half with 14:26 still to go.
Cal Lutheran made a slight run to get the game back within 10 points at 17-10 but the Sagehens got back on top and played some good defense to limit Cal Lutheran to just 15 points in the first half to take a 34-15 lead at halftime.
The Kingsmen did much better on offense in the second half but the Sagehens still managed to outscore Cal Lutheran 36-33. The Kinsgmen never led or tied in the game against the Sagehens and Pomona-Pitzer poured it on midway through the second half as they took their largest lead of the game at 26 points after a Kelbert layup made the score 52-26 with 11:26 left to play.
The Sagehens kept their lead above 20 points for the remainder of the game and were able to coast to a big road win to hand Coach Kats his 500th career win.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next travel to SCIAC opponent Caltech on Wednesday, January 22nd at 7:00 p.m.