CLAREMONT, Calif. – Thursday night ended on a frustrating note for the No. 25 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team as the Stags saw a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Cal Lutheran end their night with a 61-58 loss. With the game tied at 58 apiece and six seconds left in the game, Caleb Richey dribbled to the top of the arc, did a hesitation followed by a step back 3-pointer. The ball sailed through the net, ending hopes of a potential overtime.
Junior Kendrick Morris (CMC) led the Stags with 15 points, going 7-for-9 from the field, and grabbed five rebounds. Three other Stags finished the night with 10 points, including sophomore Evan Davis (CMC), senior Riley Hall (CMC), and junior Michael Scarlett (CMC). Kyle Ferreira led the Kingsmen with 16 points and Richey finished with 13 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
Both teams appeared sluggish right out of the gate, struggling to string consecutive baskets for an extended run. Morris and freshman Maxwell Kirsch (CMC) scored back-to-back layups to help the CMS to a 8-3 lead, but the Stags could not stretch their advantage afterwards. With 5:23 left in the half, Wolfgang Wood took over the Kingsmen's offense, leading them on a 7-0 run, including a jumper and a layup to tie the game at 21 apiece. Davis responded with a close range baseline jumper to stop the run. Davis later hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 13 seconds left to close the half with a 26-23 lead.
Stags wasted no time feeding Morris in the post at the start of the second half, helping him score two layups during a 10-3 run to bring CMS to a 36-28 lead. The Kingsmen tried to find opportunities to chip away the lead while playing strong defense to slow down the Stags' momentum. Trailing 42-36, Cal Lutheran managed to grind their way to a 9-2 run capped by a midrange jumper from Richey to take the 45-44 lead. The two teams were neck-to-neck until the final two minutes when Ferreira hit back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 58-53 lead.
Desperate to get back in the game, Davis subbed back in the game and rewarded the team's faith with a 3-pointer to close the gap 58-56. With 17 seconds left, Scarlett managed to swipe the ball from Adrian Frances and went coast-to-coast for a layup. The junior missed, but Hall put it back in to tie the game at 58 apiece. However, the Kingsmen closed the night celebrating after Richey's game-winner.
The Stags will look to get back to their winning ways this Saturday, Feb. 19 when they host Chapman at 7 p.m.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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