Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Basketball team dropped their third straight game Saturday as they fell 82-71 to Pomona-Pitzer inside of Voelkel Gymnasium.
The Purple & Gold were led by Louis Kurihara (Culver City, Calif.) who finished with a team high 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, which included five three-pointers to go with four rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Ryan Henry (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) found himself in the starting lineup playing 28 minutes and added 14 points shooting 50% from the field and Victor Nwaba (Los Angeles, Calif.) registered 14 points going 6-of-9 with four boards, two steals, and two assists.
The Poets had an impressive night shooting with a 40% clip from the field and 42% from deep but couldn't stop the offensive unit of Pomona-Pitzer as they went 56% from the field and 43% from three-point territory.
The teams opened up the first half exchanging baskets with the lead going back and forth multiple times in the first few minutes. Henry put WC on top 12-11 after a triple and was followed by Kurihara and Nwaba going back-to-back from deep that moved the score to 18-15. But this lead soon evaporated as the Sagehens went on an 8-0 run over the next few minutes that gave them back the lead at 23-18.
Whittier fought back as they cut the deficit to four after a layin from Jordan Lingard (Colac, Australia) with 6:03 to play. But again PP would answer ending the half on a 10-2 run to go into the break leading 42-30.
In the second half, the Poets began chipping away at the Sagehen lead erasing their 12-point halftime deficit thanks to the deep ball as Kurihara, Henry and Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) would all connect helping give WC a lead at 53-52. But the game didn't remain tight for very long as a 13-3 run by PP would swing the momentum moving the score to 65-56 with just over five minutes to play.
The Purple & Gold attempted a late comeback pulling within seven after a Henry three-point play the old fashioned way but the comeback was thwarted as Daniel Rosenbaum would knock down a three-pointer that moved the deficit back to double digits with a 1:00 remaining in the contest.
Whittier was outrebounded 40-27 and turned the ball over 15 times, but the big deficit was in the paint being outscored 40-16, while receiving only 17 points off the bench.
Whittier remains on the road this Wednesday, January 24 as they travel to take on Caltech beginning at 7:00pm.