Road Warriors! Stags Win Fourth SCIAC Road Game in Eight Days, Edge La Verne 63-60

Road Warriors! Stags Win Fourth SCIAC Road Game in Eight Days, Edge La Verne 63-60

LA VERNE, Calif. – Three different Stags hit three-pointers on three straight possessions to key a 14-2 run to turn a five-point second-half deficit into a seven-point lead, and the CMS men's basketball team held on down the stretch to take a 60-57 road win over La Verne on Saturday, its fourth conference road win in the last eight days.

Senior forward Nicolas Segura Dobjanschi led the way for CMS with his sixth double-double of the year (18 points, 11 rebounds), while senior guard Mark Sui (pictured) had 11 of his 13 points in the second half. With the win, the Stags improve to 10-4 on the season and 4-1 in the SCIAC, completing a stretch of four straight road wins (at Redlands, at Caltech, at Occidental, at La Verne), three of which were by three points or less.

CMS trailed for most of the first half before taking a 26-24 lead at the break behind 10 points from Segura Dobjanschi, but then La Verne used the hot outside shooting of Sinai Enoch (19 points, 4-6 from three) to pull ahead 43-38 midway through the second half. Sui stepped up, though, knocking down a pair of foul shots and then burying a three-pointer in the right corner to even the score 43-43. After CMS earned a stop, sophomore guard Mitchell Kirsch hit a three from the top of the key to extend it to an 8-0 run and put the Stags back in front.

La Verne answered with a basket out of a timeout, but Segura Dobjanschi hit an open three from the top of the key to put the Stags ahead 49-45. After a free throw from junior forward Jeremy Horn, Segura Dobjanschi followed his own missed shot to finish off the 14-2 run and put CMS ahead 52-45.

La Verne hung around and pulled within 54-51 on a three-pointer from Tevin McClain with 2:27 to go, before Sui hit two foul shots to make it a five-point lead with 2:05 left.  A lay-up from Evan Gustafson with 29 seconds left brought the Leopards within 57-55, and after Sui split two at the line, Sinai Enoch was fouled shooting a three with 10 seconds left with a chance to tie it. He hit the first two, but missed the third and Mitchell Kirsch was fouled on the rebound, sinking both to make it a 60-57 game with eight seconds left.

Enoch had one last chance to tie it, but he was pinned along the sideline by the CMS defense and forced into taking an off-balance three with Sui right there to contest it. The shot hit off the rim, and junior guard Miles President pulled in the ball on the weak side to secure the 60-57 win. It was the fourth time in the current four-game win streak that opponents have missed tying or winning shots in the final few seconds, including twice in a 73-71 overtime win at Redlands (a two-pointer to win in regulation, and a three-pointer to win in overtime) and once (a tying three-pointer) at Occidental on Wednesday.

The Stags got off to a slow start as a 9-0 La Verne run put the Leopards ahead 16-7 with 9:01 left in the half. A put-back from junior forward George Walker tied the game at 7-7 with 13:30 in the half, and the Stags didn't score again until freshman forward Sam Johnson knocked down a pair of foul shots with 8:39 left.

With the score 18-11, Segura Dobjanschi started to assert himself and scored on two straight possessions to pull the Stags within 20-15. After two foul shots from sophomore guard Mitchell Kirsch, Walker pulled down an offensive rebounds and found sophomore guard Chukwueloka Oti for a three-pointer to knot the score up at 20-20 with 4:15 left in the half. La Verne went back ahead 24-22, but Segura Dobjanschi again scored on back-to-back possessions to give CMS a 26-24 lead at the break.

Walker ended the game with a career-high 11 rebounds off the bench for the Stags, six on the offensive end, tying Segura Dobjanschi (who had 10 of his 11 on the defensive end) for team-high honors. The Stags also benefitted from strong fundamentals, committing only seven turnovers and outrebounding La Verne 40-31.  

After concluding the four-game road swing with four wins in eight days, the Stags will finally return to Roberts Pavilion for the first time in 2019 when they take on Cal Lutheran on Monday night at 7 p.m.