Stags show composure in victory over rival Pomona-Pitzer

Riley Hall (Photo by Mitch Allan)
Riley Hall (Photo by Mitch Allan)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Freshman Miles President (HMC) seemed undeterred by the raucous crowd at the Rains Center on Saturday night, scoring a career-high 18 points in his first Sixth Street Rivalry game to lead the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team (15-1, 8-0) to a 73-67 victory over Pomona-Pitzer (10-7, 6-2).

Sophomore Evan Davis (CMC) also had a career-high, recording 17 points, including five 3-pointers, in the first start of his career. Senior Riley Hall (CMC) was the only starter who did not score in double digits, but he led the team with nine rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. Corbin Koch led the Sagehens in scoring, putting up 28 points and going 8-for-16 from the field.

The Stags played with a high level of focus and composure, setting the tempo early in the game, and not letting their emotions overtake their ability to play the game. CMS held the lead for majority of the night, but Pomona-Pitzer put together several runs to bring the game within a basket. However, the Stags kept their cool and extinguished the Sagehens' flames with timely baskets along with extended runs to force Pomona-Pitzer to work their way back in the game.

CMS set the pace at the start of the game, demonstrating discipline on the defensive end, and forcing PP to poor, contested shots. With the game tied at seven apiece, President caught fire and led the Stags to a 10-0 run, scoring two 3-pointers and driving in for a contested layup during that period to give CMS a 17-7 lead.

After a timeout with 9:42 left in the half, Pomona-Pitzer went to its star, Corbin Koch, to cut the deficit. Koch scored eight straight points, including an 3-pointer and an and-one layup to bring CMS' lead down 23-21. Hall broke the brief drought with a layup and Davis helped the Stags' cause with two 3-pointers to extend the Stags lead 31-23. However, the Sagehens closed with a 6-2 run, leaving CMS ahead just 33-29 at the half.

Pomona-Pitzer managed to close the gap to a single point, 40-39, after breaking out on an 11-2 run in the second half. But in the midst of traffic, Hall saw Davis curling around the top of the arc and hit him with a pass for a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer to kill the Sagehens' scoring streak. Later, junior Kendrick Morris (CMC) extended the Stags' lead with a jumper. On the following possession, President dribbled down the baseline and drew the double team, but he deftly dumped the ball off to a wide open Morris for an easy layup. The freshman then converted a corner three off a pass from Hall, giving CMS a 50-43 lead.

With 9:05 left in the game, CMS wasted no time after rebounding a missed free throw from Pomona-Pitzer, as Hall quickly found Davis behind the arc for his fifth made 3-pointer of the night. The Stags led 55-44, their largest lead of the night. The two teams traded baskets as CMS flashed plenty of offense to prevent the Sagehens from going on an extended run. With 4:12 remaining in the game, the Stags managed to prevent Pomona from taking a shot for over a minute by keeping the ball on their side of the court through offensive boards and a key turnover. Running short on time, Corbin kept the Sagehens in the game with back-to-back threes to cut the deficit 66-61, but junior Michael Scarlett (CMC) iced the game with two free throws with 39 seconds left to seal the victory.

The men's basketball team will hit the road to face Caltech on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. in hopes of maintaining its winning streak and complete the season sweep over the Beavers. The Stags won the last meeting 78-53 at home.

Box Score

By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant

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