CLAREMONT, Calif. – Fresh off a long holiday rest, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team (7-1, 1-0) returned home Wednesday night to overcome a tough Emerson College (4-6) for the 84-73 victory. Senior Scott Lynds (CMC) benefitted most from the break, going off for a career-high 23 points with two steals and four assists without a single turnover.
Two Stags recorded a double-double, including senior Riley Hall (CMC) with 13 points and 10 rebounds and junior Kendrick Morris (CMC) with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. In the tight affair until the final two minutes, Michael Sheng, Geoffrey Gray, and John Geary each scored 16 points for Emerson. Gray led the Lions with five assists and nine rebounds while Mac Sashin had six boards and a block.
The Stags came out slow in the opening minutes, allowing the Lions to go on an 8-0 run to give them the 11-3 lead. Lynds scored a layup and two consecutive three-pointers to cut the Lions' lead 16-11. At 13:04 Hall brought the bench and fans off their feet with an emphatic chase-down block on Gray and followed up with a layup in traffic, assisted by Lynds. With 8:11 left in the half, the Stags went on a 6-0 run to take a 30-25 lead. The two teams remained neck-and-neck, exchanging baskets, until the Lions put up a few unanswered points at the end of the period. The Stags held the narrow one point lead at 42-41 going into halftime.
Emerson came out strong in the second half, going on a 14-6 run to earn a lead of seven. CMS tightened up its defense in response and broke out on a 14-2 run capped by a three-point shot from freshman Miles President (HMC) to give the Stags a 62-57 lead. Even though the Lions quickly came back to tie the game, the Stags' pace and physical defense wore down their opponents. The Stags took advantage of the Lions' fatigue by moving the ball swiftly and created openings to attack the paint at will. Starting from 6:31 on the clock, the Stags went on a 12-2 run, scoring six points off layups and four from free throws, to lead 74-64.
Lynds was clutch in the final two minutes. At the top of the circle, the senior guard dribbled left off a screen and pulled up from three-point range to give CMS the 77-67 lead. After the Lions converted two free throws, Lynds knocked down a contested corner three off a pass from Hall to put the game away.
CMS will play again tonight as they host Oberlin College at 6 p.m. in Roberts Pavilion.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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