The men's basketball team concluded their preseason schedule on Monday with a 74-55 win over Mount Saint Mary and improved to 11-0 matching the best start in school history. The 1990-91 team also started 11-0 en route the best winning percentage in school history (22-5 [.815]). The Stags are one of only six teams in Division III that remain undefeated. CMS improved two spots to 19th in the latest D3hoops.com national poll which was released today.
CMS followed their usual pattern of jumping out to a big first half lead. Despite shooting just 1-11 on three pointers and 37% from the field, the Stags led the Knights 32-18 at the break marking the eighth time CMS has led by double digits at the half this season. CMS made all nine of their free throws and held Mount Saint Mary to 27% shooting including 1-9 on threes. Joseph Anderson led the Stags in the period with an efficient 11 minutes: nine points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
The Knights were able to cut the lead to 10 points three times in the second half, but the Stags found the range from beyond the arc hitting three of seven threes and Chris Blees showed why he was a preseason All-American candidate. Blees scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half primarily off solo moves to the basket. He also added six rebounds, two assists and a steal in the half. Anderson finished with 13 points and seven boards. Remy Pinson had 10 points, Mani Maceira led the team with four assists and Tyler Gaffaney matched his season high with five steals.
In the team's first 11 games, Blees leads the team in scoring (15.5/g), rebounding (8.4/g) and assists (2.5/g). Maceira is second in scoring (11.5/g) and third in rebounding (4.6/g). The other three starters, Anderson, Pinson and Gaffaney, add over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game and are very good with the ball. The trio combine for 58 assists and 36 steals with only 28 turnovers. Cody Mivshek is the team's leading scorer off the bench with 9.5 pts/game. Five players have made at least 10 three pointers on the season. The Stags shoot much better than their opponents from the field (48% - 41%), from three (39% - 31%) and the line (70% - 59%) and also dominate on the glass outrebounding their opponents by 12.7 per game.
CMS will look to set their record for most wins to start a season when they open SCIAC play this Saturday, January 7 against a solid Caltech squad. The Beavers, who snapped a 310-game SCIAC losing streak in their season finale against Occidental last year, are 5-5 heading into their final preseason game against Mount Saint Mary tonight.