For the second time in as many seasons, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) men's basketball team secured a victory in the NCAA Division III Championship First Round Friday evening at the Sherwood Center on the campus of pod host Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash.
CMS, which won the contest, 83-82 to win its 17th straight game, improves to 20-7 overall and will take on the winner of host Whitman (26-1) and Schreiner (15-13) on Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. PST. The Stags knocked off the Pirates in the opening round of last year's NCAA tournament 78-73 before falling to Whitman in the next round.
CMS was led by Michael Scarlett and Scott Lynds who netted 31 and 28 points respectively as the Stags shot 52.7% from the field for the game. Lynds also drained five three-pointers to highlight his offensive output, while Miles President was 4-for-5 from long distance en route to 12 points. On the glass, Scarlett, President and Kendrick Morris led the team with six rebounds each.
Whitworth was led by Jared Christy who scored 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, to highlight five Pirates in double figures in scoring. Ben College and Kyle Roach followed with 19 and 14 points, while Garrett Hull and Isaiah Hernandez chipped in 11 and 10 each. Whitworth, which was held to just 39.4% efficiency from the floor, owned a 37-34 edge in rebounding as Roach and Christy pulled down nine rebounds apiece in the losing effort.
In a back-and-forth matchup that saw 16 lead changes and neither team hold more than a seven-point cushion, Scarlett converted clutch shots for the Stags down the stretch, netting 11 of his 31 points in the final 3:15 of the game, to help CMS hold on for a thrilling, one-point triumph.
Clinging to a 79-72 lead with 14 seconds to play, Whitworth responded as Hernandez and College each delivered key three-pointers and Roach added a layup to help the Pirates close to within one at 81-80 with less than five seconds to play. Scarlett drained a pair of free throws to put CMS ahead by three, before a court-length catch-and-shoot pass to Christy set the final score at 83-82 as time expired.