CLAREMONT, Calif. - CMS Men's Basketball needed a bounce-back victory after dropping its Wednesday contest at Whittier and it earned one by outscoring Caltech 50-32 in the paint and out-rebounding the Beavers 37-19 en rout to a 85-69 victory on Saturday night at Roberts Pavilion.
The Stags improved to 15-6 overall and 9-3 in the SCIAC with the victory. Caltech fell to 9-13 overall and 3-10 in the conference with the loss. CMS had four players score in double figures including Nicolas Segura Dobjanschi who led all Stags with 17 points on 7-13 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds, Miles President had a monster jam on his way to 16 points on 6-8 from the field and a perfect 3-3 from the free-throw line, Maxwell Kirsch scored 16 points off the bench on a banner night offensively shooting a perfect 6-6 from the field including 3-3 from three-point range, and Jeremy Horn hit the lane hard playing aggressive the whole night and earning 14 points on 6-9 from the field and 2-2 from the free-throw stripe.
CMS opened with a close first half, but turned on the jets and closed the opening 20 minutes with a layup by Maxwell Kirsch to give the home team a 41-40 lead at the halftime break and scored eight points over the first stanza off the bench. The Stags held a 17-11 rebound advantage during the first frame. Horn and Segura Dobjanschi scored 10 first-half points. CMS as a team missed one less bucket than Caltech, shooting 17-30 (56.7%) compared to 17-31 (54.8%) over the opening 20 minutes of play.
In the second half, the ball was in the hands of Segura Dobjanschi early and often as he took it to the basket with ease initiating his nifty handling skills and leading the Stags to a lead as much as 19 at the 2:15 mark of the second frame. CMS poured it on to the tune of a 61.5% (16-26) second-half shooting performance raising its overall percentage for the game to 58.9% (33-56). George Walker grabbed eight rebounds, to tie for the team lead with Segura Dobjanschi, and played 17 minutes off the bench. JD Levine nailed an off balance jumper with the shot clock getting closer to zero and finished the night with four points over 12 minutes.
The second half opened with the Stags and Beaves trading points and 7:23 in to the second stanza CMS held a 57-53 lead with a 12-13 start to the frame for the Stags. Mark Sui made a pair of free-throws and the Stags went on a 18-11 run to stretch the advantage to a comfortable 12-point margin, 65-53. Mitchell Kirsch, Miles President, and Chukwueloka Oti hit big shots during the run, including a huge three-pointer that was matched by another three-ball from Mitchell Kirsch to stretch the advantage to 61-53 at the 11:09 mark. The opening minutes of the second 20 minutes featured some nifty teamwork including a back door pass from Mitchell Kirsch to President with 48-48 score to give the Stags a two-point lead.
The Stags defense, which is one of the best in the country, held the Beavers to 40.0% (10-25) shooting in the second half and forced Caltech to attempt 21 three-pointers of which they made just nine (42.9%). Alec Andrews led the Beavers with 19 points (16 in the first half) on 7-14 from the field, Marcus Gee scored 13 points on 6-14 shooting, Noah Barnes scored 11 points, and Aaron Ayres along with Spencer Schneider finished with 10 points apiece. CMS made solid defensive adjustments at the half to slow down Andrews, the Beavers leading scorer, and held him to just three second-half points in the 16-point victory.
CMS held the lead for 38:06 of 40 minutes on the night and the game was tied just once for 58 seconds and Caltech held just a one-point lead at the 19:22 mark of the opening half. Despite receiving the Beavers best shot, the Stags win a pivotal SCIAC contest in the seeding race as we head to the final four games of the season, three of which will be played at Roberts Pavilion.
CMS (9-3) is tied in the loss column with Occidental (11-3) for second place in the conference, with a big matchup against the Tigers coming up on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Following the contest against Occidental, The Stags hit the road to Cal Lutheran on Feb. 16 and finish up the regular season schedule at home for Senior Night against Chapman on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. CMS is back in action on Monday, Feb. 11 against La Verne at 8 p.m.