CLAREMONT, Calif. – With sole possession of first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team enters the SCIAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and is ready to secure an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Stags have seen a fair share of success and challenges throughout the regular season, making them battle-tested and prepared for the postseason that awaits. They will host their cross-street rival, Pomona-Pitzer on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
CMS holds a 20-4 overall record, going 13-3 in conference play. After falling to Chapman last year in the semifinal 71-61, the Stags are back in the tournament with more experience under their belt as they hunt for their fifth tournament title under Head Coach Ken Scalmanini.
Parking for the game is available on N. Mills Ave or in the Biszantz Family Tennis Center parking lot on Sixth St. for visiting team and spectators. General admission is $10 while senior (Ages 55 and older) and veteran admissions are $5. Admission is free for students and children ages 12 and under. No food or drink will be allowed into Roberts Pavilion. Fans are advised to use good sportsmanship. Use of profanity and belligerent behavior will not be tolerated.
Junior Michael Scarlett (CMC) leads the team with 17.6 points per game and is shooting 49.6 percent from behind the arc this season. The shooting guard has been the biggest catalyst for the Stags' offense, making timely shots in high-pressure situations to keep the team in close games. The team will look for junior Kendrick Morris (CMC) in the post to open up the floor on offense. Morris has been a reliable interior scoring option, utilizing his foot work and soft touch around the basket to make layups and exploiting mismatches in the post. The center is averaging 12.4 points per game and leads the team with 6.3 rebounds per game. Senior Riley Hall (CMC) has given the Stags plenty of flexibility on the defensive end, utilizing his strength and long arms to defend the perimeter and paint. Despite not being a high volume scorer, the senior has been a valuable piece on the offensive end, moving the ball where it needs to go and making shots when his number is called.
Junior Jack Ely (CMC) has emerged into a valuable part of the rotation, providing hard-nosed defense with his energy and length, while being a willing facilitator on offense. Freshman Miles President (HMC) and sophomore Evan Davis (CMC) will be relied upon to space out the floor and keep defenses honest with their perimeter shooting.
The Stags split their season series against Pomona-Pitzer, winning their first meeting 73-67 on Jan. 28 before falling 80-61 on Feb. 7. The Sagehens have been successful from beyond the arc, featuring three players who are shooting higher than 40 percent from the 3-point line. Micah Elan leads the SCIAC in 3-point percentage, shooting 51.5 percent from downtown. His teammate Corbin Koch leads the team with 15.9 points per game and is 41.5 percent from the 3-point line. Daniel Rosenbaum is not only the team's third best 3-point shooter (40.5%), but also the team's leading rebounder with 6.5 boards per game.
Cal Lutheran will be hosting La Verne on the other end of the bracket. The two teams are known for their fast pace of play and provide an exciting matchup for the tournament final. The Kingsmen feature Wolfgang Wood who leads the team with 19.3 points per game and two perimeter threats in Austin Cole and Kyle Ferreira. Adrian Francis has been the major catalyst to the Kingsmen's offense, utilizing his speed to get in the paint and open up space for the shooters. Hakim Arnold has been the biggest playmaker for La Verne, making an impact on both ends of the floor. Arnold leads the team with 18.3 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game while his teammate Anthony White is averaging 16.2 points per game and is shooting 39.7 percent from beyond the arc.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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