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Sagehens win first SCIAC title but lose in NCAA bid

Pomona-Pitzer women’s basketball defeated cross-campus rival Claremont Mudd Scripps, 60-57, last Saturday, earning their first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) title in program history.

Senior point guard Keilani Ikehara, who tallied a team-high 16 points in the win, led the Sagehens. First-year Carly Leong had 15 points, while sophomore Renae Tamura had 12 points and six rebounds, according to a news release from Pomona-Pitzer Athletics. Ikehara was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

It was a very close game all night and the teams were tied 36-36 after three quarters, but the Sagehens pulled ahead in the fourth, and were able to hold on to the final buzzer.

The loss snaps a 20-game winning streak for CMS, which falls to 24-3 on the year. Junior guard Maya Love led the Athenas with 20 points and 12 rebounds, followed by junior guard Gloria Bates with 13 points and seven rebounds.

With the win, the Sagehens advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to University Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 72-46, Friday evening.

Pomona-Pitzer came out strong and led 19-18 after one quarter but dropped back in the second quarter, giving the Titans a 28-23 lead at the halftime buzzer. The Sagehens put together a rally that brought them within three points but the University Wisconsin-Oshkosh would not be denied and eventually built a sizeable lead.

Leong led the Sagehens in scoring with 15 points, followed by Cameron Edward with seven points and six rebounds. The women’s final record stands at 22-6.

"I am proud of the way our team battled tonight and all year. It was a great season for our team and the Pomona-Pitzer women's basketball program as a whole. We are all grateful for our seniors and the inspiring mark they have left on this program," Head Coach Jill Pace said following the game.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com