CLAREMONT — The Occidental men's basketball team went toe-to-toe with No. 23 Pomona-Pitzer on the road on Monday, playing some of its best basketball of the season.
But despite big plays and shot making from a number of different people, mixed with solid defense, the Tigers fell 70-65 at Voekel Gymnasium.
It was a battle of the two teams that were picked to finish No. 1 and No. 2 in the SCIAC Preseason Coaches Poll.
There were a number of lead changes late and the shot-making by both teams was impressive.
Adam Rees hit the big shot for the Sagehens on a corner three off an offensive rebound, putting the Sagehens up 67-65 with 1:20 remaining. Oxy had chances to tie and even a 3-point look from Jacob Adler with 20 seconds left to put them in the lead, but they came up empty handed on a couple of opportunities.
Austin DeWitz, who surpassed the 1,000 career points mark in the game, was aggressive going to the basket, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
After a slow first half, Zach Baines turned it on, scoring 14 of his team-high 18 points in the second half.
Baines and DeWitz were two of four Oxy players in double figures. Jonny Crosthwaite played very well, finishing with 10 points and eight rebounds and Adler had 10 points, including a pair of threes.
Caleb Yellin-Flaherty scored eight points for the Tigers, but struggled with foul trouble throughout the contest.
Ryan Kaneshiro continued to play outstanding basketball for Oxy, handling the ball, guarding the ball and running the show. He had just two points, but dished out seven assists, had four rebounds and no turnovers.
Both teams played a pretty clean game with just seven turnovers for Oxy and 10 turnovers for the Sagehens.
Daniel Rosenbaum led Pomona-Pitzer with 14 points.
Season Impact: Oxy falls to 14-2 and 5-2 in SCIAC. The Tigers are currently sitting in third place behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer.
Pomona-Pitzer improves to 15-1 overall and 7-0 in SCIAC with their only loss of the season coming at Washington University in St. Louis. Some of the Sagehens marquee wins include a 92-67 blowout over NCAA Division II Biola and a 112-109 2OT win over No. 4 Whitman.
Next Game: Oxy is back in action in another important road game at Redlands on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Tigers return home on Jan. 23, facing La Verne at 7 p.m.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram