Cohen Drops Six Threes in Hens’ Victory Over Grove City

The Pomona-Pitzer men’s basketball team had a mixed time at
last weekend’s David Wells Classic, hosted at P-P’s Voelkel Gymnasium. After
turning in an explosive offensive performance to down Grove City College 91-61 on Friday, Nov. 28, P-P fell short in a tight encounter to Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, Nov. 29, surrendering an early cushion to lose 74-68. 

The Sagehens (2-2)
entered the Classic on the back of their first win of the season, a 63-59 defeat of Trinity University (Tx.) on Nov. 22. Michael Cohen PO ’15, the
leading scorer in the game against Trinity, once more started in hot form,
registering 19 points on 7-8 shooting to lead the offensive charge from P-P in the first half. He
was supported by Gibson Farone-Collins PO ’16, who scored 12 points in the
first half after sinking all five of his field goal attempts.

Meanwhile, the visitors from
Pennsylvania put in a decent offensive performance of their own, with guard
Mitch Marmelstein hitting 11 in the first period, but they were unable to hold the
fort defensively as the Sagehens shot an astronomical 73.1 percent from the field.
While Grove City also managed to shoot above 50 percent, P-P entered halftime with a
49-33 lead in a good position to run out with the win. 

The visitors
did cut the margin to 49-38 at the start of the second half to briefly threaten
a comeback, but the rally was short-lived. Cohen and Joe Eyen PZ ’15, who
finished with a career-high 16 points, hit big shots from beyond the three-point
line to swing the momentum back to the Sagehens, who went on a 16-2 run to
make the lead 65-40 midway through the second half. 

The result was a formality
from that point, with Cohen going on to notch a career-best 29 points in a
sterling performance. Though Marmelstein held out strong with his finish in double figures, the Wolverines failed to threaten P-P’s commanding lead enroute
to the Sagehens’ 91-61 win.

P-P entered Saturday evening’s game
against Lewis & Clark full of confidence and started off strong against the Pioneers. After a tight opening few minutes, the Sagehens began
to break away from the visitors. Cohen was once again among the leading
players, although it was Adrian Brandon PZ ’15 who ended as the first half’s
top scorer, notching 11 points as P-P opened up a 34-17 lead with five minutes
left before halftime. 

Lewis & Clark refused to capitulate, however, and with
Serg Ovechnnikov leading the charge, the Pioneers closed the gap to 37-31 ahead
of the second half. Within five minutes of the restart the visitors had drawn
level, and the Sagehens knew they were in a tight contest. The teams traded
field goal for field goal for most of the rest of the second half, both
struggling to break away. 

The score was tied 54-54 with 4:31 remaining in the game
when Lewis & Clark’s Justin Leathers hit a tough, three-point shot to spark a
10-0 scoring run for the Pioneers, who began to close in on the victory. Hunter
Lowry PZ ’18 and Cohen hit late three pointers to threaten a sensational
comeback, but the visitors held their nerve, shooting well from the free throw
line in the dying moments to preserve a 74-68 win.

On Thursday, Dec. 4, the Sagehens lost 79-77 in a close overtime battle against No. 22 North Central College (Ill.). The Hens came back from a 40-29 halftime deficit to tie the game at 72-72 at the end of regulation. After a Cohen three-pointer put P-P up, North Central scored seven points to secure the victory.

Despite the hard-fought
loss, however, P-P displayed good offensive fluency and a balanced team ethic, both positives that the Sagehens will look to build upon as they continue to warm up ahead of the start of SCIAC play. The team will next take the court against Bristol University Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. 

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