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Last second basket gives Cal Lutheran upset win over CMS in SCIAC Tourney semis

Coach Scalmanini (Photo by William Vasta)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – A runner in the lane with 2.4 seconds left in the game by Coltrane Powdrill gave the No. 4 seed Cal Lutheran men's basketball team a 54-53 win over host and top-seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament semifinals on Friday, Feb. 28 at Ducey Gym. The win sends Cal Lutheran to the SCIAC Tournament championship game at No. 3 seed Chapman on Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Orange. The loss dropped CMS to 20-6 overall and puts them on the bubble for the NCAA Division III Championships. The NCAA Championships field will be announced on Monday, March 3 at 9:30 a.m. PST on the NCAA Division III Selection Show.

Just five seconds before Powdrill's game-winning bank shot from the middle of the key, CMS took a 53-52 lead with eight seconds left on a runner by Jason Harrington who was fouled on the play. Harrington missed the ensuing free throw which kept the CMS lead at one point. Free-throws proved to be the deciding factor in the game as CMS went 7-for-14 from the line while Cal Lutheran connected on 11 of their 12 attempts from the line.

CMS trailed 24-22 at halftime, but took its first lead of the game in the second half on a three-pointer by Tyler Gaffaney to go ahead 29-26 with 17:08 left in the game. A three-pointer by Jack Earley for CMS gave CMS a six point lead, their largest of the game, at 34-28 with 13:57 on the clock.

It wasn't until Arik Smith's three-point play that Cal Lutheran got the lead back at 47-44 with 2:59 on the clock. Smith had a game-high 31 points for Cal Lutheran. Cal Lutheran got its lead back to four points only to see CMS go ahead with eight seconds left on Harrington's basket.

Cal Lutheran got out to an early lead in the game holding CMS without a field goal for the first 6-plus minutes as Cal Lutheran built a 12-1 lead behind the play of Smith who scored 12 of their first 14 points in the game. A three-pointer by Remy Pinson at the 13:28 mark of the first half was the first field goal for CMS.

Pinson had a team-high 16 points for CMS while Gaffaney added 14 points and Shelby Lane had six points and nine rebounds. Michael Palmer had 13 points for Cal Lutheran including 3-of-4 shooting from the three-point line and a crucial three late in the second half. Only four players scored for Cal Lutheran while eight scored points for CMS.

Box score: http://cmsathletics.org/sports/mbkb/2013-14/boxscores/20140228_ejf5.xml

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