WHITTIER, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team took an early lead over the Whittier Poets on Wednesday night and held a comfortable cushion throughout the contest en route to an 85-65 road victory. The win clinches the Stags at least a share of their 20th SCIAC Championship program history and their eighth in the last 10 years. CMS also locks up the top seed in next weekend's SCIAC Tournament.
Michael Scarlett (CMC) scored 17 points in the second-half and led all scorers with 27 points on the night. Scott Lynds (CMC) and Kendrick Morris (CMC) went for 17 and 10 points, respectively, to join Scarlett in double-digits.
The Stags started Wednesday's game a little hotter than they did on Monday against Occidental. CMS connected on threes from Miles President (HMC) and Scott Lynds (CMC) in the first 2:25 of the game to take an early 6-3 lead. Despite the early spark from downtown, the Poets hung around for the opening four minutes and after a three from Whittier's Victor Nwaba, CMS held just an 11-9 lead.
A trey from Jack Ely (CMC) started an 11-2 run that last three and a half minutes and built CMS a 21-11. During the run, Ely scored five points, President hit another three, and Lynds contributed a bucket to make it a 10-point lead for the Stags.
Following a three from Lynds with 5:57 left in the half, the Stags had doubled up the Poets, 34-17. The triple from Lynds capped off a quick 10-2 CMS run that lasted less than two and a half minutes. During the streak, Scarlett scored six-straight points and Andrew Maddock (CMC) connected on a jumper before Lynds knocked down his three-ball.
The CMS lead continued to extend over the final minutes of the half as the Stags took a 48-26 lead at the break.
Half-time did little to slow down the Stags as CMS ballooned their lead to as many as 27 points in the first eight minutes of the second period. Following a jumper from Patrick Myers (CMC), CMS held a 69-42 lead. While the Poets hung around, cutting the lead to as few as 17 points, CMS cruised to the 20-point victory to lock up a share of the SCIAC Championship and earn the top seed in the SCIAC Tournament.
CMS will wrap up the regular season with games against Chapman on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and on the road against Caltech on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. The SCIAC tournament is slated to begin Friday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. when the Stags host the No. 4 seed in the conference.