Pomona-Pitzer Sinks 14 of 31 Three-Pointers, as Sagehens Defeat Willamette, 80-68

CLAREMONT, CALIF. -- Pomona-Pitzer connected on 14 of 31 three-point attempts (45.2%) and hit 29 of 58 shots overall (50.0%), as the Sagehens defeated Willamette University, 80-68, in the second round of the David Wells Classic on Saturday, Nov. 25. Pomona-Pitzer, playing on its home court, improved to 3-0 on the season, while Willamette moved to 1-3.

It was the second consecutive game in which Willamette faced a team shooting well from long-range. On Friday, Nov. 24, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps sank 8 of 18 three-pointers (44.4%) in a 60-50 win over the Bearcats. On Saturday, CMS defeated Hope International University, 51-48, to improve to 4-0 on the season.

Willamette held a 12-11 lead over Pomona-Pitzer, after Michael Smith (Jr., Wing, Talent, OR/Phoenix HS) hit a jumper with 14:31 remaining in the first half. The Sagehens followed with a 10-0 run to take a 20-12 advantage at the 12:25 mark.

The Bearcats answered with a 9-2 run of their own, pulling Willamette within 22-21 with 8:25 left in the opening period. Smith began the offensive outburst with a three-point shot, while Kyler McClary (So., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) and Simon Currie (So., Wing/Post, Bend, OR/Mt. View HS) also connected on 3-pointers during the run.

Pomona-Pitzer outscored the Bearcats 23-6 over the remainder of the opening half. Willamette trailed by nine points, 34-25, after a layup by Ian Mansfield (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Century HS) with 3:31 left in the period, but the Sagehens tallied 11 of the final 13 points to claim a 45-27 margin at the break.

Willamette outscored the Pomona-Pitzer, 41-35, in the second half. The Bearcats cut the deficit to 15 points four times in the first 12 minutes of the half, and got within 14 points, 71-57, with 5:50 left.

WU moved another point closer at 75-62, following a pair of free throws by Corey Costantino (So., Wing, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS), with 2:25 to go. The Sagehens recorded five of the next seven points to prevent a last-minute rally by Willamette. Adam Chaimowitz completed the run with Pomona-Pitzer’s final three-pointer as the clock reached the 1:37 mark.

Currie led Willamette with 13 points and also contributed six rebounds and three assists. Currie nailed three 3-point shots to lead the Bearcats, who finished the game 8 of 29 (27.6%) from behind the arc.

Costantino provided 12 points and Rob Andrus (Sr., Wing, Chimacum, WA/Chimacum HS) chipped in 11 points. McClary also reached double digits for Willamette, as he hit the nets for 10 points. Mansfield led all players on both teams with 12 rebounds (10 on defense) to go with nine points and a team-high four assists.

Dan Nugent (Fr., Wing/Post, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS), who entered the game as Willamette’s leading scorer with 20.0 points per game, played just 18 minutes against Pomona-Pitzer. He took two shots, had no fouls and did not score. He grabbed four rebounds and earned three assists.

Willamette sank 22 of 59 shots overall from the field (37.3%) and made 16 of 20 free throws (80.0%). The Bearcats committed 14 turnovers and forced 13 miscues by Pomona-Pitzer.

Chris McCoy was the top scorer for the Sagehens with 20 points. Chaimowitz produced 17 points on 5 of 6 three-pointers and 2 of 2 free throws. Jabarri Reynolds supplied 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds. David Knowles scored 13 points and led the Sagehens with four assists.

Pomona-Pitzer’s success from 3-point range provided the Sagehens with a 42-24 advantage in scoring from behind the arc. The margin on long-range shots, helped the home team overcome an eight-point deficit at the line. The Sagehens shot very well from the charity stripe, but took just nine free throws and converted eight.

The Bearcats' first four opponents have achieved a combined record of 19-2. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (4-0), Pomona-Pitzer (3-0) and Albertson College (5-1) each defeated WU. Willamette gave Eastern Oregon University (7-1) its only loss when the Bearcats defeated the Mountaineers, 84-81, on Nov. 18.

Willamette will open Northwest Conference play on Friday, Dec. 1, at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST). The Bearcats will remain on the road on Saturday, Dec. 2, to take on Pacific Lutheran University in another NWC contest. Game time on the PLU campus in Tacoma, is set for 8 p.m. (PST).