ORANGE, Calif. – Sophomore forward Chris Lesnansky scored a team-high 22 points, but for the second day in a row Colorado College’s late comeback attempt came up short.
CC trimmed a 64-52 deficit to three points with 1:58 remaining, but Occidental College scored eight of the final 11 points and held on for an 81-73 victory in a game played at Chapman University on Sunday afternoon.
After Colorado College pulled to within four points when Lesnansky knocked down a jumper with 27 seconds to play, Oxy sealed the victory by making four of six free-throw attempts.
The Colorado Tigers might have prevailed had it not been for the heroics of forward Kris Montoya, who poured in 25 of his game-high 31 points during the second half.
Ryan Chong scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half to help Occidental build a 44-39 lead after 20 minutes.
CC scored the first seven points of the contest, but the California Tigers answered with a 27-6 run to build a 14-point advantage with 9:25 to play in the opening frame. Oxy led 42-27 after Sam Stapleton connected for his only field goal with 4:54 to go, however junior guard Jake Tramutolo dialed long distance twice as Colorado College used a 10-2 run to pull to within five points at the break.
Freshman guard Justin Berardino scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half and reached double figures for the fourth time in the last five games.
Ryan Milne added 16 points and four assists. The Junior guard moved past Rob Hemminger (1984-88) into ninth place on the program’s all-time list with 255 assists.
Occidental, which played for the first time since Dec. 21, improved to 4-6.
Colorado College (4-5) looks to snap a two-game skid when it plays at Chapman on Monday afternoon in the finale of its three-game swing in Southern California.