REDLANDS, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team rallied from a six-point deficit in the final minute of regulation to force overtime, and held on as a winning three-pointer missed just before the buzzer of the extra session, as the Stags took a dramatic 73-71 overtime win over Redlands in a SCIAC road contest on Saturday afternoon.
Senior forward Nicolas Segura Dobjanschi had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, including two free throws with 10 seconds left to tie the score in regulation and the defensive rebound off the missed three-pointer to seal it in overtime, while sophomore guard Mitchell Kirsch (pictured) had five of his nine points in the final minute to lead the comeback. CMS improves to 7-4 overall and 1-1 in the SCIAC with the win, while Redlands slips to 6-6 overall and 1-2 in league play with the loss.
With the score tied 53-53 and four minutes left, Redlands went on a 6-0 run to take a two-possession lead at 59-53 with 1:45 to go and put the Stags' backs against the wall. After an exchange of free throws, the lead was still at six points (61-55), when Mitchell Kirsch knocked down a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key with 50 seconds left to cut the lead in half.
Junior guard JD Levine then had a steal near midcourt and fed Kirsch on a fast break, who was fouled and converted both to close the lead to 61-60 with 25 seconds to play. Redlands split two at the line with 17 seconds left, and Segura Dobjanschi knocked down two foul shots with 10 seconds to knot it at 62-62. The Stags had to earn one more stop to get it to the extra session, but the Bulldogs missed the first of their two buzzer-beater attempts on the day, and junior guard Miles President pulled down the rebound to send it overtime.
CMS scored on its first two possessions of the overtime to keep the momentum, with President feeding junior forward Maxwell Kirsch for a lay-up, then knocking down a three-pointer to give CMS a 67-62 lead, its largest of the game. Redlands clawed back within 68-67, but President hit a tough stepback jumper from the right elbow as the shot clock expired to make it 70-67 with 1:22 left. Redlands made two free throws to close to within one, but Segura Dobjanschi answered back with two for the Stags with 37 seconds to go to get the lead back to three.
David Menary faked a three and drove for a lay-up for Redlands to trim the lead to 72-71 with 16 seconds left, and the Stags made one of two at the line, giving Redlands a chance to force a second overtime with a two, or win it with a three. Redlands was bottled up at first, but shook free for a potential winning three-pointer, but Levine flew out to disrupt the shot and it hit off the rim. Segura Dobjanschi pulled down the defensive rebound on the weak side to secure both the win and his fifth double-double of the season.
The Stags trailed 30-25 early in the second half, but senior guard Mark Sui had a steal and a breakaway lay-up to pull CMS back even at 30-30. Maxwell Kirsch knocked down a three-pointer with 13:11 left to give the Stags their first lead since midway through the first half at 35-34, and the teams then went back-and-forth exchanging leads for almost 10 minutes, before President hit a fadeaway with 4:05 to go to tie the score at 53-53. Redlands scored the next six points to seemingly take control, but the Stags were able to stage the late comeback and get the win in overtime.
The first half saw Redlands take a 23-19 lead after each team suffered through long scoring drought. After the Stags went ahead 14-10 on two foul shots from junior forward Jeremy Horn with 11:08 to go in the half, Redlands went on a 9-0 run that wasn't broken until a three-point play with senior forward Segura Dobjanschi with 4:01 to play. CMS trailed by only four at the break, despite shooting just 5-24 (20.8 percent) in the first half from the floor (1-12 from three).
Segura Dobjanschi had 10 of his 18 points from the foul line, where he shot 10-11 on the day. President was also in double figures with 15 points, while Maxwell Kirsch had 11 on 4-5 shooting. CMS finished 21-of-57 from the floor (36.8), including 16-33 (48.5 percent) after its frigid first half, and ended with a 47-37 edge on the boards.
CMS is back in action on Monday when it travels to Caltech for a 7 p.m. contest.