Ole men fall in final minutes
November 26, 2011
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Trailing by 12 with under six minutes to play, the St. Olaf men's basketball team mounted a furious rally but lost a 79-76 decision against Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday night at Ducey Gym.
The Oles trailed the Sagehens 71-59 with 5:51 to play following a Jack Klukas three-pointer. However, St. Olaf scored the game's next 15 points, capped off by a Sterling Nielsen three-point play, to take a 74-71 lead with 2:31 remaining.
Pomona-Pitzer responded behind clutch three-pointers from freshmen Klukas and Michael Cohen in the 61 seconds. With 1:01 to play, Cohen ended the Oles run with a three to tie the score at 74-74. After Connor Gunderson made one of two foul shots, a three from Klukas gave the Sagehens a 77-75 lead with 17 seconds remaining that the Oles were unable to overcome, after Sterling Nielsen missed a layup in traffic with seven seconds remaining.
Cohen led Pomona-Pitzer with 23 points on 8-11 shooting, while making five of six from behind the arc. John Weiss added 20 for the Sagehens, who also got ten points from Jake Klewer.
St. Olaf was led by Stu Neville's 24 points and Bobby Fong's 22. Neville was 9-13 from the field and made all three of his three-pointers. Fong connected on five of seven from distance.
The Sagehens shot 50.9% for the game, including 55.6% (15-27) in the second half. Pomona-Pitzer made 13 of 22 threes (59.1%), as Cohen and Weiss went a combined 8-11. The Oles shot 47.4% (27-57) over the course of the game and used 12 threes in mounting their fightback.
The loss concludes St. Olaf's California trip to the David Wells Classic. The team lost both of its games by a combined 11 points. The Oles record stands at 1-3, while Pomona-Pitzer improves to 2-2. St. Olaf starts MIAC play on Wednesday with a trip to St. Paul to face St. Thomas. The Tommies are 3-1 and defeated Pomona-Pitzer 82-79 in double overtime last week.