CLAREMONT, Calif. – Junior Jack Ely (CMC) had a career night, erupting for 21 points off the bench on Tuesday night to take the No. 21 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team (11-1, 4-0) past Occidental College (9-6, 1-5) with a 63-58 victory.
The tenacious defensive specialist was a major contributor on offense, going 6-for-7 from the field, including two 3-pointers, and making all seven of his free throw attempts. His fellow classmates had solid nights themselves as Michael Scarlett (CMC) contributed 13 points while Kendrick Morris (CMC) led the team with 12 rebounds. Jay Miller led the Tigers in scoring, putting up 18 points while Zach Baines scored 17 points with nine rebounds, a block, and a steal.
The teams traded runs in the first half, as neither side was able to build a significant lead. Ely entered the game with 6:12 left in the half and scored nine straight points within a four minute span to give CMS a tight 29-27 lead. Austin Dewitz went for a layup to tie the game, but senior Scott Lynds (CMC) answered back with a huge 3-point basket to give CMS the lead with 22 seconds left. However, the lead was short-lived as Jay Miller converted from beyond the arc with two seconds left in the half to tie the game at 32 apiece.
CMS showed more energy in the second half, playing better defense and creating more movement on offense. The Stags overwhelmed the Tigers with a 10-0 run at the start of the half, including a put-back layup from Morris off a missed three-pointer from Lynds. With 13:12 left in the half, Ely went on another run on his own, scoring seven straight points to help CMS to a 49-42 lead. The Tigers crept back into the game with 2:28 on the clock after going on a 6-0 run to trail 54-52, but Ely quickly put out the flames with a three-pointer. After Occidental scored two free throws to come within striking distance, Lynds delivered the dagger with a clutch jumper to give CMS a 61-55 lead with 30 seconds left in the game.
The Stags will hit the road on Thursday, Jan. 19 to face Chapman University (7-7, 2-3), at 7 p.m. in hopes of maintaining their strong record in SCIAC play. Last season, CMS beat the Panthers in its final regular season game, but Chapman responded with a 71-61 victory to knock the Stags out of the SCIAC Tournament in the semifinal.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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