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Rhett Carter shooting a jump hook
Rhett Carter had 10 points, including the first six in a late 13-0 run (photo by Kiubon Kokko)

CMS Men's Basketball Closes Regular Season with 73-63 Road Win over Chapman

ORANGE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team, with a SCIAC Tournament bid already secure, played 18 players and rested its starters after limited first-half minutes, but still came away with a 73-63 road win over Chapman to head into the postseason on a winning note on Tuesday night.

CMS concludes the regular season with a 19-6 overall record and an 11-5 mark in SCIAC, and will be the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, heading to second-seeded Redlands on Friday night for one of two semifinals. Occidental fell to Caltech on Tuesday night and dropped to the fourth seed, and will play at top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer in the other Friday semifinal.

CMS led 38-30 at the half and maintained its lead for most of the second half, before the Panthers surged ahead 57-54. The Stags then responded with a game-turning 13-0 run, holding Chapman scoreless for a span of six minutes to go ahead 67-57 with 3:21 to go. 

First-year forward Rhett Carter jump-started the run with three straight baskets, turning a three-point deficit into a three-point lead. Sophomore forward TJ Askew followed with a basket to stretch the run to eight points, and first-year guard Josh Angle hit a running bank shots to put CMS ahead 64-57. Sophomore guard Charles Meng then capped the 13-0 run with a three-pointer from the top of the key off an offensive rebound. 

Chapman got back within six points again at 69-63, but senior forward Kele Mkpado had a putback dunk and senior guard JD Levine hit a jumper at the end of the shot clock with 52 seconds left to make it a 73-63 lead and effectively seal the win. 

Carter and sophomore forward Sam Johnson led CMS with 10 points apiece, as the Stag post players were effective throughout. Senior forward Maxwell Kirsch was 3-3 from the floor and senior forward Jeremy Horn was 2-2 in their limited first-half minutes. Chandler White led all scorers for Chapman with 24 points. 

CMS was successful in its first trip to Redlands earlier this year, coming away with a 77-60 road win on Jan. 15. Redlands won the rematch on Wednesday at Roberts Pavilion in a down-to-the-wire contest 82-80.