CLAREMONT, Calif. – It was close as Cal Lutheran and Pomona-Pitzer combined for eight ties and two lead changes in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown tonight. In the end, a comeback on the road fell short for the Kingsmen who dropped a 60-58 decision to the Sagehens in their first meeting of the season.
With 4:43 remaining in the first half, Michael Palmer made one of his two free-throws to knot the teams at 23-23, but Pomona-Pitzer went on a 7-0 run before Steven Davis broke the scoreless streak with a layup to cut the deficit to five. The teams would combine for eight more points in the final two minutes but it was the Sagehens who went into the locker room ahead at 35-28.
Three minutes into the second half PP had built up a 12-point lead when freshman Corey Quintana scored his first of a game-high 15 points. The bucket sparked a 12-2 CLU run, of which he was responsible for six, to pull within a pair at 9:18. Just less than three minutes after that Quintana got the Kingsmen back even at 51-51.
Down by five, Jayvaughn Nettles fount Quintana who layed it in. The senior then followed up with a layup of his own after a Sagehens turnover, pulling CLU within a point. That was as close as it would get through the Kingsmen had some chances down the stretch.
The Cal Lutheran defensive effort with just under a minute to play came up huge, forcing a five second violation on the inbound pass, but the Kingsmen were not able to capitalize on the opportunity.
A CLU foul sent PP to the line and after missing the front end of a one-and-one, the Violet and Gold had the ball back with 36 seconds by way of a Jeremy Sulker-Hall rebound. Quintana shot from the corner of the court but was blocked out of bounds with 12 ticks remaining. A second three-point shot was just off target and when Nettles recovered the loose ball with one second to play, he was fouled. After making the first, he missed the second on purpose but the Sagehens came down with the ball ending the valiant effort by the visiting squad.
Quintana, who earned the first start of his collegiate career tonight, led all players with 15 while Sulker-Hall recorded a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double. Of his 10 boards, six were on the offensive end of the court. Nettles added nine points on 3-for-4 shooting and Palmer came off the bench for eight. Davis shared the game-high with five assists
CLU out rebounded PP 37-33 and came down with three more offensive boards, 15, than the Sagehens, scoring 17 second-chance points. Quintana was second on the team with six rebounds, three on each side of the court. Nettles had the only Cal Lutheran block of the night and also added two assists.
The Kingsmen shot at a slightly higher overall clip (43.4 percent) than the Sagehens (42.9 percent), but were just 9-for 17 (52.9 percent) at the line while PP was 77.8 percent accurate going 7-for-9.
Pomona-Pitzer was paced by Jake Klewer’s 14-point, 14-rebound night. Kyle McAndrews and Xavyr Moss reached double figures as well with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Moss handed out five assists as well.
Cal Lutheran (3-4, 1-1 SCIAC) returns to the Gilbert Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 11 when they host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (4-4, 3-0) at 7:30 p.m.