The Pomona-Pitzer men’s basketball team opened its season on Monday, taking on the UC Riverside Highlanders at their home court. The Sagecocks started strong against the Division 1 Highlanders, but were ultimately outmatched, losing 81-48.
“They are really good. A very athletic team,” Evan Zahniser PO ’12 said of UCR.
Despite the loss, Assistant Coach P.J. McDevitt is enthusiastic about the team’s prospects for the upcoming season.
“It was the first outing with a young team,” said McDevitt. “There are a lot of positives to take away from the game.”
P-P is indeed a young team this season. With only two seniors and three juniors on the roster, almost two-thirds of the team are underclassmen. Having graduated five players, four of whom were starters, the Sagecock lineup will feature many substitutes stepping into starting roles this year.
McDevitt said he is unsure, at this point, where the team’s leadership will come from this season.
“It’s a new era for our program, and we don’t know what to expect,” McDevitt explained.
In the game at UCR, two underclassmen, Jake Klewer PO ’14 (12 points and six rebounds) and Xavry Moss PI ’13 (10 points), put together notable performances.
P-P’s early non-conference schedule features some challenging matchups against Chapman (ranked 12th in Division Three last season), UC Santa Cruz, and Trinity (Tex.) that will surely prepare them for conference play this spring.
The Sagecocks will face Biola University, a quarterfinalist in the NAIA national championships last season, at home tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
“They should be good. It’s going to be another good game,” Zahniser said.