Stifling ‘D’ helps CMS take down Cal Lu, wrap up perfect SCIAC regular season

2015 SCIAC Champions (16-0 SCIAC Regular Season)
2015 SCIAC Champions (16-0 SCIAC Regular Season)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Over 25 years have passed by since the last Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team completed an undefeated conference regular season. That all changed on Feb. 21 as CMS, led by its defense, came from behind to defeat California Lutheran 56-45 to finish the SCIAC regular season at 16-0.

In 1987-88, the Athenas went 10-0 in conference play en route to the conference championship under then head coach Jodie Burton. In fact, unofficially, no SCIAC women's basketball team has gone undefeated during the conference regular season since 1990 when La Verne accomplished the feat. In SCIAC women's basketball history, an undefeated conference season has been accomplished just eight times; CMS (87-88 and 14-15), La Verne (89-90), Occidental (79-80) and Pomona-Pitzer (four times from 1981-1985).

CMS is now 22-3 on the season having won 18 games in a row and is the top seed heading into next week's SCIAC Postseason Tournament. CMS will host a first round game on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Linde Activities Center against either Chapman or Redlands depending on results early next week. Should CMS advance, the postseason tournament title game would be at CMS on Feb. 28. The win over Cal Lu broke the previous CMS women's basketball record of 17 wins in a row set back in the late '80s.

In Saturday's match-up against Cal Lu, CMS trailed 34-27 just over four minutes into the second half after a lay-up by Sofia Cruz. Senior guard Kimberly Scamman (CMC) on the next possession hit a crucial three-pointer which sparked an 11-0 run for CMS to put them back in control. The 11-0 run for CMS was capped by a pair of free-throws by Scamman that gave CMS a 38-34 lead with 11:18 to go.

With 8:31 to go, CMS led by just one point at 40-39 after a Cal Lu lay-up by Chelsea Jacoby. CMS' defense then took over, holding Cal Lu without a point for the next six minutes while taking command of the game as CMS would go on to the double-digit win.

Cal Lu led 25-23 at the break behind a team effort that saw eight players score points and no player had more than four points. With the game tied at 23-23, CMS committed a foul with less than a second left before the break which gave Cal Lu a pair of free throws which they converted to points.

The largest lead of the first half for either team came with 1:38 left when Natalie Stone put in a lay-up to give Cal Lu a 23-19 lead. Prior to that, the teams were tied and traded the lead several times. Scamman scored 11 of the team's 23 points in the first half. She finished with 25 points five steals and eight rebounds in the game.

Freshman center Kailee Severt (CMC) had eight points off the bench while sophomore forward Kris Brackmann (CMC) scored seven points and had 10 rebounds and five steals.

CMS held Cal Lu to 26 percent shooting in the game and forced 18 turnovers.

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