By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Jordan Jenkins (Sr., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) provided Willamette University with 22 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and one blocked shot, but Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) scored the game's first eight points and the Sagehens went on to down the Bearcats, 85-71, in the first round of the David Wells Classic. The game was played at Roberts Pavilion on the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) campus. Pomona-Pitzer improved to 3-0 on the season, while Willamette fell to 0-3.
Jenkins was joined in double figures by Trent Callan (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS), who finished with 17 points and was 6 of 9 on field goals. Alec Barba (So., W, Dallas, OR/Central HS) added nine points on a trio of 3-point baskets, while Jonathan Watts (Fr., G, San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS) earned nine points, three assists and a steal. Will Huntington (So., P, Oakland, CA/Bishop O'Dowd HS) supplied WU with six rebounds.
Pomona-Pitzer was led by 6' 9" starting forward Alex Preston, who scored 13 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots. He was 6 of 8 from the field during the game, and scored eight of his points in the first half. Daniel Rosenbaum produced 17 points for the Sagehens and went 7 of 10 from the field. Micah Elan was credited with 12 points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Corban Koch scored 10 points and grabbed seven boards.
"As the coach, it's my job to have us ready to play at tipoff and we weren't," Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane said. "We can't continue to spot good teams like Pomona an early double-digit lead. We are playing a gauntlet of good teams to start this season. The lessons we're learning will pay off in the long run."
After the Sagehens took an 8-0 lead, Jenkins opened the scoring for Willamette on a layup with 15:59 left in the first half. Pomona-Pitzer extended its lead to 13-2 on a 3-pointer by Jack Boyle and a jumper by Rosenbaum. Jenkins countered with a 3-pointer for the Bearcats, but the Sagehens tacked on two more baskets for a 17-5 advantage at the 13:34 mark.
The Bearcats spent the rest of the game trying to catch-up.
Pomona-Pitzer owned a 23-7 lead following a 3-pointer by Koch with 11:10 to go before halftime. The Sagehens were in front 29-15 with 8:25 on the clock, but Willamette controlled the next three minutes with an 8-0 run, and pulled within six points at 29-23 as the clock reached 5:19. Jenkins opened the run with a fast-break layup. Callan tacked on a 3-pointer, before Jenkins added a free throw and Justus Eaglesmith (So., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS) scored on a jumper.
The Sagehens put through the next five points, starting with a traditional three-point play by Rosenbaum and ending with two free throws by Koch. A layup by Jenkins and a 3-pointer from Watts moved Willamette back withing six points at 34-28, but Pomona-Pitzer closed the half with a 10-2 run to take a 44-30 halftime lead.
Willsmette cut the margin to 10 points at 46-36 on a 3-pointer by Callan with 17:59 remaining in the game. About a minute later, Barba pulled WU within 51-41 on a 3-pointer. Pomona-Pitzer countered with a 5-0 run and led by 12 or more points until the 9:29 mark, when Watts reduced the deficit to 64-54 on a jumper. The Sagehens then took control with an 8-1 run that finished with two layups by Rosenbaum.
Pomona-Pitzer shot 51.6% on field goals (33 of 64), including 5 of 18 (27.8%) from 3-point range. Willamette shot 41.9% (25 of 61) and made 9 of 23 three-pointers (39.1%).
The Sagehens gained a 40-32 rebounding lead. Both teams rebounded well on offense, as Pomona-Pitzer registered 15 offensive boards and Willamette grabbed 14. Turnovers were kept to a minimum, with Pomona-Pitzer commiitting 10 turnovers and the Bearcats losing the ball 10 times.
Willamette will battle Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the second round of the David Wells Classic on Saturday, Nov. 24. The game will start at 4:30 p.m. (PST) and will be played at Pomona-Pitzer.
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
Trent Callan scored on a 3-point basket during an 8-0 run
by the Bearcats in the first half. The run pulled WU within
six points of the Sagehens at 29-23. The play began when
Will Huntington grabbed an offensive rebound and sent the ball
behind the 3-point line to Callan. After receiving the ball, Callan
passed to Jordan Jenkins at the top of the key. Jenkins passed
the ball back to Callan, who was open for the 3-point shot.