Schedule Change: CMS will next play at La Verne on Saturday at 4 p.m. That game was originally scheduled to be played at CMS at 7 p.m., but the teams switched home games to accommodate La Verne's mid-year graduation.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Senior forward Nicolas Segura Dobjanschi had 23 points as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team went on the road and handed Occidental its first loss of the season, hanging on for a 63-60 win on Wednesday evening at Rush Gymnasium.
Junior guard Miles President added 15 points for the Stags, who improve to 9-4 on the year and 3-1 in the SCIAC, winning its third straight conference road game in the last five days. Occidental falls to 13-1 overall on the season and 4-1 in league play with the loss after coming into the day undefeated on the year.
CMS held a five-point lead with less than two minutes to play, before Zach Baines hit a pair of foul shots to close the margin to 57-54 with 1:18 left. The Stags then worked the shot clock down, before Segura Dobjanschi drove into the right side of the paint. He picked up his dribble and appeared to be bottled up by a double-team, but he alertly threw a pretty one-handed wraparound pass to junior forward George Walker under the left side of the basket, who connected on a reverse lay-up with 52 seconds left to put CMS ahead 59-54.
Ryan Kaneshiro answered quickly for Occidental with a three-pointer from the left wing with 44 seconds left to close to within 59-57, and the Tigers elected not to foul with a 14-second differential between the shot clock and the game clock. CMS worked the ball around as it milked the 30 seconds, and sophomore guard Mitchell Kirsch drove the left baseline before finding President open in the opposite corner. President gave an up-fake and took a shot just before the shot clock buzzer which missed, but Walker was there on the weak side for a critical offensive rebound, kicking the ball back out to Segura Dobjanschi, who was fouled with 11 seconds left.
On Saturday, Segura Dobjanschi hit two big foul shots with 10 seconds left in regulation to force the game at Redlands into overtime, and he once again stepped up and knocked down two pressure foul shots to put CMS up by two possessions at 61-57. That would prove to be critical, as Occidental came down and hit another three-pointer, this time from Jacob Adler, with 3.1 seconds left to close to within one.
Senior guard Mark Sui was fouled immediately in the backcourt and converted both to make it a 63-60 game, and the Tigers, who were out of timeouts, quickly threw a long inbounds pass inside the top of the key. The 75-foot pass was caught in traffic, resulting in a kickout pass back to Adler for a tying three-point attempt from 23 feet, but this time his shot came up short as the Stags hung on for another dramatic win.
The miss was actually the third time in the last week that CMS has had its opponents miss key shots at the buzzer. Redlands had a chance to win in regulation with an 18-footer, and then had a three-point attempt to win in overtime, but both shots didn't connect as the Stags won that game 73-71 to start its current three-game road win streak.
CMS used a 12-0 run to take early control of the game at 18-8 with 9:15 left in the half on a three-pointer from President. The Tigers were within six late in the half at 26-20, but Segura Dobjanschi hit two foul shots, and then assisted President on another three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to make it a 31-20 lead at the break.
A Walker lay-up with 14:26 left gave CMS a 40-28 lead before the Tigers worked their way back into it, pulling even at 46-46 on a Zach Baines lay-up with 7:23 to play. The Stags never allowed Occidental to take the lead, though, as junior guard JD Levine stopped the run with a big three-pointer on the next possession, and Segura Dobjanschi's put-back got the lead back up to five (51-46) with 6:03 to go. The lead then alternated between three and five points until the final minute, when Occidental got within a single point.
CMS shot 46.9 percent for the game, including 56.5 percent (13-23) in the first half, while holding Occidental to just 30 percent (9-30). Both teams took care of the ball, with the Stags committing only nine turnovers, while the Tigers had only six. Baines led four players in double figures for Occidental with 17 points.
The Stags will be back in action on Saturday when they complete their stretch of four road games in eight days when they travel to La Verne at 4 p.m.