CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Men's basketball team used 20 points from Jeremy Horn and 20 points from Miles President to open the new decade with a 76-67 victory over Whittier on Saturday at Roberts Pavilion.
The Stags have won their last six games and improve to 9-2 overall along with 1-1 in the SCIAC with the nine-point victory and Whittier falls to 7-5 overall and 2-1 in the conference with the loss. Horn scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half during a perfect 7-7 performance from the field in the opening frame and President finished with 11 points in the opening 20 minutes of play on 3-9 from the field with all three made shots coming from three-point range and 2-2 from the free-throw line.
An early back-and-forth game that was knotted up at 15-15 just over eight minutes into the first half gave way to a 13-0 run to close the first 20 minutes as the Stags stretched the advantage to 47-34 at the halfway mark. CMS held Whittier scoreless over the final 4:23 of the first half and Kele Mkpado, Brian Kenyon, Horn, and President each made baskets to push a lead to 13 at the break.
President made a big three-pointer with 2:46 left in the first half to give the Stags a six-point advantage 40-34. Mkpado drilled a pair of free-throws to extend the advantage to 42-34 with 2:03 left to play in the opening stanza and following a defensive rebound by Horn, Kenyon made a jump shot to extend the lead to 10 points, 44-34. Kenyon was fouled on the shot attempt and sank the free-throw to complete the three-point play and give the Stags an 11-point advantage.
Horn drilled a jump-shot to complete the 13-0 run and stretch the advantage to 13 at the halfway mark, 47-34.
In the second half, Whittier came out shooting and made a run of its own. After a Horn jumper, the Poets made three consecutive baskets including back-to-back layups by Journey Shank to cut the Stags' lead to nine points, 49-40. A three-point play followed due to a foul by Kenyon and Shank made the free-throw to cut the deficit to eight points, 49-41.
Nick Potthoff, Whittier's leading scorer who entered the game averaging 17.0 points per game, hit two free throws after being held to just five points in the first half to cut the margin to six points, 49-43. The Poets opened the second half on a 9-2 run that was snapped when George Walker finished at the rim to stretch the advantage to eight, 51-43.
The Stags and Poets traded three-point baskets as Potthoff sank a three-ball and President responded with a three-pointer of his own but then Kenyatta Louder drilled a three-pointer to cut the CMS lead to 54-49 with 12:30 left in the second half. Potthoff would continue the hot scoring to start the second 20 minutes with a three-point basket to cut the Stags lead to 54-52 with 12:04 left to go but that would be as close as the Poets got.
CMS responded with an 8-2 run to stretch its advantage to 61-55 with 8:46 left to play. Jude Agbasi broke the run with a jumper keeping the Poets within shouting distance of the Stags, 61-57. President made a pair of big free-throws with the Stags up 68-63 and just 3:30 left to play to extend the advantage to seven, 70-63.
Whittier would make one more charge late as Potthoff cut the deficit to three points with a pair of free-throws with 1:29 left but President charged through the lane and finished with a layup to put CMS back up by five and ultimately turn the game into a free-throw contest over the final 1:02.
Mitchell Kirsch made two big free-throws, Kenyon followed with a pair of free-throws and the Stags pulled away and held on to a 76-67 victory over the Poets at Roberts Pavilion on Saturday. Joining President and Horn in double-digits was Mitchell Kirsch with 12 points on 4-9 shooting and Mkpado with 10 points on 3-5 from the field. The game was pretty even on the glass as CMS edged Whittier 38-37 in rebounding and scoring in the paint 26-24.
Potthoff led all Poets with 17 points on 4-10 from the field as the Stags held him right at his season average and Ahmed Young was the only other Poet in double-digits with 12 points on 4-7 from the field. The Stags held Potthoff to just two made three-pointers and limited their second-leading scorer, Louder, to just five points for the game. Louder averaged 16.7 points entering the night.
President has now scored in double-digits seven times this season and fell just four points shy of his season-high 24 points that he set on Nov. 9 vs. George Fox. Horn added seven rebounds to go with his 20-point effort and has scored in double-digits in each of his last five games and in seven games overall this season. The Stags forced the Poets into 18 turnovers and committed just 10 turnovers on the night and made five more shots than the Poets despite being out-shot percentage-wise 42.3% (22-52) to 40.3% (27-67) for the game.
The CMS Men's basketball team has a quick turnaround as it is back in action against Chapman (9-2) on Monday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. inside Roberts Pavilion. Chapman, most recently, fell to Pomona-Pitzer 66-55 on Saturday, Jan. 4 to mark its first loss in the last nine games and sink the Panthers to 1-1 in the SCIAC.