THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Freshman Guy Lynott scored 19 points in his third career start as Cal Lutheran upset Pomona-Pitzer 59-56 Saturday night in the Gilbert Arena. With the win, the Kingsmen kept their Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) post-season hopes alive and are now just a game out of fourth place with three SCIAC contests remaining in the regular season.
Tied at 55 with 1:27 left to go in the game, Dan Wade hit a jumper from just inside the three-point line, giving CLU the 57-55 advantage. Pomona-Pitzer would hurry down the court on the following possession and John Weiss would go to the free-throw line after drawing a Kingsmen foul. However, Weiss converted on only one of two free throws and the Sagehens were forced to foul with less than 40 seconds left.
Wade would hit two crucial free-throws, putting CLU 59-56 with 20 seconds left to play. The Sagehens had one final possession but Jayvaughn Nettles got a hand in the way of a three-pointer by Michael Cohen and the shot sailed wide as the clock expired.
CLU actually led by seven after intermission but Pomona-Pitzer went on a 10-0 run to start the second half. Cohen and Weiss both connected on threes during the run, pushing the Saeghen lead to five at 39-34.
The Kingsmen would inch their way back, dwindling the lead down to one over the next eight minutes before Lynott put CLU back in front at 50-49 after sinking a pair of free-throws. On the possession before, Nettles made the play of the night when he drove to the basket, pump-faked while in the air then scooped under the arm of an outstretched Pomona-Pitzer defender and banked in for a lay-up. Nettles was also fouled on the play and converted the and-one free-throw, pulling the Kingsmen to within one.
The nail-biting ending was quite opposite of how the first half unfolded.
Cal Lutheran looked the like a refreshed group coming off a bye week as they raced out to a 34-27 halftime lead after sinking five three-pointers. Leading 19-17 with 7:05 remaining, Cal Lutheran went on an 11-0 run aided by three-pointers from Martin Flowers, Michael Palmer and Corey Quintana. Lynott capped the run with two of his 12 first half points, pushing the CLU lead to 30-19 with 4:41 left to play.
Three minutes later, a three-pointer from Adrian Brandon cut the CLU lead to five at 32-27. With 30 seconds remaining, Cal Lutheran held for the final basket and it paid off as Quintana found Lynott along the baseline for an open lay-up with expiring, sending the teams into the locker room with the Kingsmen leading by seven.
In addition to Lynott scoring 19 points, Wade chipped in with 14 and Quintana had nine to lead Cal Lutheran offensively. Nettles led the Kingsmen with six rebounds, three steals and three assists.
Weiss led Pomona-Pitzer offensively with 13 points while Cohen had 11 and Kyle McAndrews had 10.
With the win, Cal Lutheran improves to 10-12 overall and 6-7 in the SCIAC. With the loss, Pomona-Pitzer drops to 13-8 and 8-5 in the SCIAC.
The Kingsmen will be back in action next Wednesday, Feb. 13, when they host first-place Redlands. Tip-off in Gilbert Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.