CLAREMONT, Calif. – Junior Michael Scarlett (CMC) experienced déjà vu on Saturday night, repeating his production from earlier this week against Caltech with another 28-point performance against Redlands (7-13, 3-8) to help the No. 15 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team (17-1, 10-0) to a 69-64 victory. With 19 seconds left in the game and the Stags up 65-62, Scarlett called for isolation and knocked down a pull up jumper from the top of the key for the dagger. He was fouled towards the end of the game and made both free throws to seal the win.
Junior Kendrick Morris (CMC) had a double-double, scoring 14 points, all in the second half, and pulling down 10 rebounds. His classmate Jack Ely (CMC) provided a huge boost off the bench with his playmaking abilities, ending the night with five points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Joey Sponheim carried most of the scoring load for the Bulldogs, finishing with 25 points and going 5-for-8 from the 3-point line.
Redlands started off hot, blanking out the Stags with a 10-0 run until senior Riley Hall (CMC) finally got the home team on board with a layup. The Stags fought to keep up with the Bulldogs, and almost came close to narrowing the gap when freshman Miles President (HMC) hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Ely. Ely followed by making one free throw, and after Redlands hit a jumper, Scarlett brought the Bulldogs' lead to five with a layup. However, Sponheim caught fire and drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to give Redlands the 23-12 lead.
In the final three and half minutes of the first half, the Stags finally responded by closing with a 7-0 run. After Scarlett scored a triple, Ely later found Hall on a fast break for a layup. On their next offensive possession, Ely hit Scarlett near the basket with a bounce pass. Scarlett took one dribble, spun around and hit a short fade away to cut Redlands' lead 33-29 at the half.
CMS wasted little time to close the gap as the team fed the ball to Morris in the post several times for some quick baskets. Morris opened up the half with two nifty layups to tie the game at 33 apiece. The two teams traded baskets, but the Stags defense managed to keep the Bulldogs away from the paint and contained them into hitting midrange jumpers and threes. Redlands only shot 31.3 percent from the field in the second half. Trailing 41-38, the Stags went off a 16-0 run by primarily moving the ball into the paint and finding open teammates for layups. CMS scored six layups during the run to take a 54-41 lead.
With 7:48 left in the game, the Bulldogs slowly crept their way back in the game by forcing some key turnovers and grabbing timely offensive rebounds as they went on an 11-2 run and closing the Stags' lead to 61-58. Morris scored in the post twice to ward off the Bulldogs, but Trevor Baker and Sponheim were able to answer back. After Sponheim hit two free throws with less than a minute left, Scarlett successfully killed some time before sealing the game.
The Stags will remain at home for their biggest rivalry game of the season, hosting Pomona-Pitzer on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. This game will mark the first time the Sixth Street Rivalry is played at Roberts Pavilion.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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