CMS Falls To Defending National Champs In NCAA Tournament

CMS Falls To Defending National Champs In NCAA Tournament

Two free throws by John Nance with nine seconds left in overtime lifted defending NCAA III champion Saint Thomas to a 76-74 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in a NCAA III tournament game played in Whitewater, Wisconsin Friday night.  Saint Thomas, 22-6, will play the winner of Friday's second game, UW-Whitewater and Northwestern (MN), in a second round game Saturday at 7:00 in Kachel Gym on the UW-W campus.

CMS led the entire first half, building an 11 point margin, 30-19 on Tyler Gaffney's three-pointer with 5:09 on the clock.  The Stags went 5-10 from beyond the arc and 7-7 from the line in the first twenty minutes.

CMS led 47-34 at 13:24 in the second half, and still led by double digits, 55-45 with 7:44 on the clock.  The Tommies took a run at the Stags, taking the lead for the first time, 64-63, on a Zach Riedemann layup with 1:15 left in regulation.  Chris Blees' free throw with 0:43 left tied the game and sent it into overtime. 

The teams were tied five times in OT.  CMS went 5-6 from the line and Saint Thomas 6-8 with Nance's final two throws the winning margin. 

Blees, a senior forward, was the game's leading scorer with 23 points, hitting 10-13 from the foul line.  He also led the Stags with eight rebounds and six assists.  Junior guard Will DeBerg topped UST with 19 points, connecting on 4-7 three point attempts.

Story courtesy of UW-W Sports Information