Stags Hold Off Pesky Beavers in Roberts Pavilion

photo credit: Alicia Tsai
photo credit: Alicia Tsai

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team held off the Caltech Beavers on Saturday evening en route to a 66-56 victory in Roberts Pavilion. Michael Scarlett (CMC) led the CMS offense with 19 points on a 7-13 shooting effort. Jack Ely (CMC) collected his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The win moves the Stags to 8-7 on the season and 6-1 in the SCIAC.

Scarlett started Saturday's game with a layup and a three in the first 70 seconds to give CMS an early 5-0 lead. A 7-2 Caltech run followed over the next four and a half minutes of play. A three from Caltech's Marcus Gee ended the run and tied the game at 7-7 with 14:21 remaining in the half.

A free throw from Ely less than 30 seconds later would break the tie and CMS would hold sole control of the lead for the remainder of the contest. Including Ely's make from the charity stripe, CMS would go on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes of the game. After a jumper from Scott Lynds (CMC), CMS held a 20-9 lead with 9:13 remaining in the half.

During the run, five different Stags found the bottom of the cup with Ely accounting for four points, all off free throws. The Stags' lead would hover between 10 and 15 points for the remainder of the half and CMS would eventually take a 33-20 lead into the break.

Neither team shot the ball particularly well in the opening half, CMS was just 10-33 from the floor (30.3%), but the Stags held Caltech to a 6-22 effort from the field (27.3%) while forcing 11 Beavers' turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

While CMS did not light the world on fire after the break either, their 13-28 mark (46.4%) was enough to hold off a scrappy Caltech bunch that battled throughout the game.

The Stags controlled the second-half and grew their lead to as many as 20 points at 61-41, following a layup from Scott Lynds with 6:44 remaining. Over the final five-plus minutes, the Beavers chipped away at the CMS lead, going on a 15-5 run. The late Caltech run fell short as the Stags held on for the 66-56 victory.

As mentioned, the win improves CMS to 6-1 in the SCIAC and to 8-7 overall. The Stags will next take the floor Wednesday when they host Redlands at 7:00 p.m. The Bulldogs are the only SCIAC team to defeat the Stags this season. Redlands topped CMS 72-67 in their previous meeting on Dec. 6.