CMS Men's Basketball Earns SCIAC Playoff Berth with 68-58 Win at La Verne
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior Jeremy Horn had 18 points as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team secured a spot in the 2020 SCIAC Tournament with a 68-58 road win over La Verne on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, CMS improves to 18-6 overall and 10-5 in the SCIAC, while La Verne slips to 2-22 and 2-13 in league play. The Stags still have one league game left at Chapman on Tuesday to try to determine its postseason seeding.
CMS had to work harder than it may have liked against a Leopards team that was celebrating Senior Day and trying to pick up a signature win to end its regular season. The Stags led 31-24 at the half, and La Verne pulled within 42-41 with 11:46 to go and had two chances to take the lead.
CMS, though, was able to assert itself with a timely 8-0 run to push the lead back up to nine points. Horn made a layup, which was followed by a layup from senior forward Maxwell Kirsch with 9:24 to go. Horn then had a short jumper off an offensive rebound, and junior guard Mitchell Kirsch hit a jumper with 7:43 left to make the score 50-41.
The Stags then kept answering La Verne baskets until senior forward Kele Mkpado made it a double-digit lead with 3:47 left on a layup to push the score to 58-47. First-year Rhett Carter then had two CMS baskets in a row with less than two minutes left to answer La Verne scores, and the Stags were able to ride out the 10-point win.
Mkpado had 10 points for CMS off the bench in support of Horn's 18, while Carter had eight points in only eight minutes. CMS forced 17 turnovers on the day to help hold La Verne under the 60-point plateau.
CMS concludes the regular season at Chapman on Tuesday hoping to carry momentum into the SCIAC Tournament, which gets underway with the semifinals on Friday.