CLAREMONT, Calif. – In the Tuesday night showdown for first place in SCIAC, No. 22 Chapman earned the top spot beating Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 65-62 in overtime. The Stags came back from a four-point deficit at halftime to score 36 in the second half, only to face tight Panther defense and come up short in OT.
Both teams played up to the challenge and created a playoff atmosphere in the gym.
The Stags only had a one point lead on two occasions during the first half and worked back from a 21-12 deficit. In the final six minutes of the half, CMS went on an 8-3 run to cut Chapman's lead to four points. Freshman Jack Ely (CMC) drained a long three in the final seconds for a halftime score of 24-20 in the Panthers' favor.
CMS fought back in the much higher scoring second half. Both teams shot over 45% during the half, Chapman earning the extra points at the free throw line (10-13, 77%). Senior Jack Grodahl (CMC) got hot and hit two three-pointers, the first one giving CMS the 27-26 advantage early in the half.
In the last four minutes of the second half, there were four lead changes and two ties, ultimately forcing the overtime.
In OT, Chapman made the baskets they needed to make and went 3-for-5 from the foul line including Taylor Hamasaki hitting two in a row to increase CU's lead from 63-62 to 65-62.
CMS' defense held Chapman's leading scorer, Colin Zavrsnick, to just seven points while Justin Young led with 16 on the night.
In the game, the Stags out-rebounded the Panthers 41-31 including 11 offensive boards but only scored two second-chance baskets. Chapman had half the number of the Stags' turnovers (12-6).
The Stags are now 14-5 overall and 7-3, the current second place in SCIAC. Chapman jumps up to first place and is joined by Cal Lutheran after their win over Pomona-Pitzer. CMS next travels to Redlands on Feb. 10 before returning home to play Caltech on Feb. 12.
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