Sagehens Unable to Overcome Early Deficit in Season Opener

The Pomona-Pitzer men’s basketball team launched into their regular season with a home opener Tuesday, Nov. 18, against the Eagles of Biola University. Down three
players, including starting point guard Kyle McAndrews PO ’15, who was recently diagnosed with a concussion, the
Hens were not able to catch the Eagles, who got off to a hot start. 

However, three Hens were able to score double-digit points in the game, including Michael Cohen PO ’15 with a team high 15 points and Gibson Farone-Collins PO ’16 with 10 points. Hunter Lowry PZ ’18 also tagged on 11 points in his
first regular season game as a Sagehen.

The game started off with a fierce
run from Biola, who scored twelve straight points in the first five minutes of the
contest. Lowry was able to stop the streak six minutes into the game as he hit
a three-point jump shot to put the Hens on the board. But the Eagles did not let
the Sagehens gain more ground. Biola scored eight more unanswered points after
Lowry’s three to make the score 20-3 halfway through the first half,
forcing the Hens to take an early timeout.

After the timeout, the buckets began
falling for P-P. Adrian Brandon PZ ’15, Glenn Leininger PZ
’18 and Cohen all got on the board and started a 10-0 run for the Hens to bring them back
into the game. With the score at 20-13, Biola stopped the Sagehen run and
continued to add to their lead. Seven points would be the closest the Hens got
to the Eagles for the remainder of the game.

“We came out cold shooting the ball
and spotted them a 17 point lead in the first few minutes of the game,”
Farone-Collins said. “I though the shots we were getting early on were
pretty good ones, but they just weren’t falling.”

With
the Hens shooting just 28.6 percent in the opening half, the team was looking to improve their
shooting in the second half. Despite some early jump shots made by Brandon and
Farone-Collins, the Hens cooled off again in the second half, allowing the Eagles
build upon their lead.

Farone-Collins and Cohen both played dominant roles in the second
half, with Farone-Collins picking up five rebounds and scoring eight points,
and Cohen scoring nine points. The team shot just 27 percent in the
second half and made only one three-pointer, shooting 5.6 percent from outside the
arc. 

As the final buzzer sounded, Biola captured the victory 70-53.
Farone-Collins ended the game with a double-double, 10 points and 12 rebounds,
while Cohen led the team with 15 points on the night.

Despite
being down early, Farone-Collins was pleased with how the team dealt with
adversity.

“I
was happy with the way we continued to execute offensively, even though we
couldn’t buy a bucket,” Farone-Collins said. “Early on, with such a huge deficit,
with so many freshmen playing in their first college game, it would have been
easy for our effort and execution to falter, but we kept plugging through and
played them even for the rest of the night. With a team that talented it was just too big a
deficit to overcome.”

Next
up for the Sagehens will be Trinity University (Texas) on Saturday, Nov. 22, at home. Trinity, who is coming off of two losses to open their season, will be
playing across Sixth Street at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday before playing at Voelkel Gymnasium against the Hens on
Saturday night. 

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