Strong Second-Half Lifts Jumbos Past Stags

Photo Credit: Alicia Tsai
Photo Credit: Alicia Tsai

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Playing in their final game of 2017, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team fell to the Tufts Jumbos 71-63 on Friday night. The Jumbos went on a 21-4 run in the early portion of the second-half to flip a 33-28 CMS lead into a 49-37 advantage for Tufts.

With under six minutes remaining, the Stags went on a late run to pull within five points at 59-54 with 2:42 on the clock, but the run was halted when Tufts' Everett Dayton hit a back breaking three to put the visitors up by eight. In the final 30 seconds, Scott Lynds (CMC) once again brought the margin to five points with a triple, but Tufts knocked down free throws late to claim the 71-63 victory.

Kendrick Morris (CMC) went for 20 points in the contest while also grabbing nine rebounds to finish a rebound shy of his second-straight double-double.

The Stags started off Friday's game on fire, CMS made their first four shots including threes from Michael Scarlett (CMC), Miles President (HMC), and Jack Ely (CMC) in the first two minutes. The shooting clinic put the Stags up 11-2 less than two minutes into the game. Two minutes later, President struck again from downtown and the Stags held their largest lead of the game at 14-4.

The Stags' scoring pace slowed down over the remainder of the half and Tufts eventually tied the game at 19-19 on a three from Eric Savage with 7:42 remaining in the period. With the game now tied, the Jumbos and Stags battled bucket for bucket over the remainder of the half. A layup from Morris with 1:39 left in the half was the final bucket of the first period and gave CMS a slim, 29-28, lead at the break.

After the half, Ely made a layup and Scarlett knocked down a jumper to account for the first four points of the half. CMS led 33-28 with 18:22 remaining in the game, but a three from Everett Dayton started a massive 21-4 run for Tufts that lasted 7:06.

The streak put Tufts in the driver's seat with a 49-37 lead midway through the half. A pair of free throws from Maxwell Kirsch (CMC) and a layup from Morris accounted for the only CMS points in the seven-minute stretch.

The Tufts' lead remained double-digits until the final five minutes of the game when the Stags put a run of their own together. Kendrick Morris fueled a 10-3 rally with eight points in a three minute span. The run pulled the Stags within five at 59-54 following a layup from Scarlett.

Tufts weathered the CMS run and quickly grew their lead back to as many as nine points with under two minutes remaining. Despite a late three from Scott Lynds that cut the lead to 67-62, the Jumbos held on for the 71-63 victory with late free throws.

The Stags will next take the court on Wednesday, Jan. 3 when they host SCIAC foe, La Verne at 7:00 p.m. in Roberts Pavilion.