CLAREMONT, Calif. - With first place in the SCIAC on the line, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team hosted the Occidental Tigers on Saturday evening. CMS handed Occidental their first conference loss of the season, defeating the Tigers 70-60 in Roberts Pavilion. Michael Scarlett (CMC) led the Stags with 20 points in the contest.
Miles President (HMC) and Kendrick Morris (CMC) joined Scarlett in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Jack Ely (CMC) owned the glass, grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds in the 10-point win.
Saturday's game started as a back and forth battle between the Stags and Tigers. The two sides nearly traded every other bucket for the first 11 minutes of the contest. During that stretch neither team took more than a three-point lead.
After Occidental's Jacob Adler made a jumper, with 8:56 remaining in the first-half, the game was tied 16-16. A layup from Morris followed just 30 seconds later to start a 14-3 CMS run that gave the Stags a 30-19 lead with just over four minutes left in the half.
During the run, four different Stags filled up the cup with Scarlett connecting on a three and a jumper and Morris delivering a pair of layups to lead the charge. A jumper from Scarlett capped off the run and the final four minutes of the period returned to the rhythm of the beginning of the game. The Tigers and Stags traded buckets and CMS took a 37-26 advantage into the break.
After the break Occidental began to force the issue a little more with the Stags. Over the first seven minutes of the second-half, the CMS lead was cut down to just four points at 46-42.
An 8-0 run from the Stags pushed the CMS lead back to 12 points at 54-42. The stretch was fueled by free throws as Patrick Myers (CMC) connected on four attempts and President added a pair. The only field goal of the streak came from Jack Ely.
CMS held onto their lead for the remainder of the game and while the Tigers made pushes to close the gap, CMS never let the cushion drop below seven-points. Free throws down the stretch closed out the contest and the Stags earned a 70-60 victory.
As mentioned the Stags now take over at the top of the SCIAC standings with a 10-1 conference record. The Stags and Tigers will play the second-half of their home and home series on Feb. 12 when the Stags hit the road for a game slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.
Between now and the rematch between Occidental and CMS, the Stags will host long-time rival Pomona-Pitzer in Roberts Pavilion on Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m.