Kingsmen Advance to Semis, Face Pomona-Pitzer

Photo by Logan Bury
Photo by Logan Bury

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — No. 4 California Lutheran University men's basketball advanced past No. 5 Caltech in the quarterfinals of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and will take on top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer in the semifinals Friday at 7 p.m. 

The Kingsmen defeated the Beavers for the fourth time this year, outlasting them 74-66.  Cal Lutheran went 22-for-26 from the free throw line for a percentage of 84.6. On the other side, Caltech was 5-for-10. 

Jacob Alonzo, Mason Johnson, Desi Burrage and Rile O'Connor all scored in double-digits and Ryan Grande came off the bench to add eight, including two, clutch three-pointers. 

Alonzo totaled 17 points, making eight of his 10 free throws, and added three rebounds, two steals and two assists. Johnson was right behind him with 15 points, while leading the team with four assists and three steals. 

Burrage tallied 10 points and was two-for-three three-point range and O'Connor also scored 10 points, while going eight-for-nine from the free throw line.   

Caltech got off to a quick start and led 9-4 early on. The Kingsmen had early shooting woes but were kept in the game by their defense. In the first 12 minutes, there were four ties and four lead changes. The teams continued to go back and forth, and then Cal Lutheran made its move. 

With Caltech up 28-26 with 4:17 left in the half, the Kingsmen went on a 10-0 run and had a 36-28 lead at the break. Alonzo had a layup and jump shot; Johnson made a layup and O'Connor made two free throws and then hit a jump shot with one second left. 

Cal Lutheran weathered every storm the Beavers threw at them in the second half, hitting big shot after big shot. There was a three from Johnson early in the half. When Caltech cut the lead to four, Alonzo answered with a three.

Caltech continued to keep it close and cut the lead to four again, this time 60-56 with 3:10 left. Grande then drilled one of his three-pointers to push it back to a three-possession game. 

The Kingsmen made their free throws down the stretch and walked off the court of Gilbert Arena and into the semis of the SCIAC Tournament. 

Box Score: CLU 74, CIT 66
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director

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