Stags hit with first defeat in conference play

Miles President (Photo by Mitch Allan)
Miles President (Photo by Mitch Allan)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Hopes of completing a regular season sweep of Pomona-Pitzer (11-9, 7-4) were dashed on Tuesday night as the No. 14 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team (17-2, 10-1) took a hard-fought 80-61 loss. Junior Michael Scarlett (CMC) led the Stags with 16 points while his classmate Jack Ely (CMC) added 10 points and three assists off the bench, but their efforts were not enough to keep up with the Sagehens' offense. Although the Stags saw their attempt at staying undefeated in the SCIAC come to an end, the Stags still sit in first place in conference play.

The Sagehens scored nine points within the first minute and half of play thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers by Corbin Koch who finished the night with 26 points. Trailing 11-5, the Stags received a major boost on offense when Ely scored a tough layup just 10 seconds after coming off the bench. Scarlett closed the gap with a step back jumper, but a layup from Pomona-Pitzer's Micah Elan quickly ended the Stags' run.

With seven minutes left in the half, the Sagehens went on a 7-0 run as Corbin converted a 3-point basket followed by two free throws and a jumper from Leininger to give Pomona-Pitzer a 31-19 lead. Junior Kendrick Morris (CMC) went to work in the post to put CMS back in the game with back-to-back layups within the final three minutes, but the Sagehens responded with baskets of their own and led 42-29 at the half.

Pomona-Pitzer's offense continued where it left off in the second half as the Stags tried to answer back. Down 62-44, Scarlett reached past several defenders to grab a missed free throw. The junior dribbled the ball to the left corner and converted a fade away 3-pointer to cut into the Sagehens' lead. After the Sagehens scored four more points, Scarlett responded with a crossover at the top of the arc followed by another 3-pointer. He went on to make two more 3-pointers, but it was not enough to keep up with Pomona-Pitzer's offense as the Sagehens led 71-56 with 3:36 left in the game.

The Stags will regroup and look to get back in the win column on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. as they host Whittier College. CMS won its last meeting with the Poets, taking them down 73-68 back on Dec. 9, 2016.

Box Score

By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant

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