Chapman Throws Wrench in Sagehens’ Momentum

was an up-and-down week for the Pomona-Pitzer men’s basketball team. Coming
off a thrilling victory against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the Sagehens had clawed
their way to within half a game of an SCIAC lead. A win on Feb. 15 against the Chapman University Panthers would have tied them atop SCIAC with
CMS, but Chapman looked like the team playing for the SCIAC lead as they
delivered a spirited performance that overwhelmed the Sagehens 55-49. Spirits were bolstered again, however, by a 65-59 bounce-back
win over the University of La Verne on Feb. 19.

Chapman, and especially Colin Zavrsnick, came out
firing and hitting against the Sagehens. Zavrsnick alone was responsible for
wiping out two of the three leads P-P held in the first couple of minutes, and his
jump shot with 15:46 to go in the half gave the Panthers a lead they would not
relinquish. The total amount of time that P-P would lead in this game totaled
just 110 seconds.

The second half found P-P attempting to
claw their way back into contention, but stellar guard play by sophomore
Panther Nick Dragovich kept the Hens at
bay. In 20 minutes of second-half play, Dragovich poured in 11 points,
including a jumper with 12:29 that extended Chapman’s advantage to 10 points.

a full-team effort in the next seven minutes, including baskets from five different P-P
players, the Sagehens whittled the lead down to four points. With 1:28 left, the
lead was down to two, but the push came just a little too late. A jumper by Dragovich and subsequent free throws for the Panthers, coupled with missed P-P three-pointers, sent the Sagehens home with a loss.

P-P was without guard Michael Cohen PO ’15, leading coach Charles Katsiaficas to play a
shortened rotation. That meant heavy minutes for the starters, contributing to
tired legs that just could not find the energy to finish off the comeback bid. The
Sagehens have at least a second-place conference finish locked up, but the loss
damaged their hopes for an SCIAC regular season championship. A tie for the lead
with CMS is still possible, but would require two P-P wins and two CMS losses. After a
few days’ rest, a regrouped P-P team came to fight for those wins on Feb. 19 against the La Verne Leopards.

first half was a back-and-forth affair with five different ties and seven lead changes.
With 8:06 left in the half and the Hens down by one, McAndrews caught fire.
Besides a John Weiss PO ’17 layup, the rest of the first half P-P points would come
from McAndrews. He finished the half making six out of his last seven shots for 16
points total.

lead was never in real jeopardy again, as the Sagehens showed great poise fending
off the Leopards. Other key contributors included Weiss (10 points, six rebounds) and Brandon, who delivered 20 meaningful minutes off the bench
(seven points, six rebounds).

an SCIAC lead is unlikely, McAndrews and the Sagehens showed this week how
dangerous they can be, and are sure to make some noise in the SCIAC tournament.
The regular season comes to a close at home on Feb. 22 against Occidental College.

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