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Josh Angle opened the year with 37 points and 7 threes (photo by Caelyn Smith)
Josh Angle opened the year with 37 points and 7 threes (photo by Caelyn Smith)

Angle (37), Kruse (25) Open Season with Career Highs as CMS Rolls Past No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Seniors Josh Angle and Kiran Kruse both set new career highs as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team led by as many as 23 points in the first half on its way to an impressive 81-70 win over No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor in its season opener on Tuesday night at Roberts Pavilion.

Angle eclipsed his previous career high of 36 points, which he set last year against Redlands, shooting 13-21 from the floor and 7-12 from three-point territory. Kruse, who also had 10 rebounds for a double-double, passed his personal best of 20, which he set twice last season, knocking down 9-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. 

The game was tight for the first five minutes, with CMS leading 10-8 before a 7-0 run, capped by an Angle three-pointer, gave the Stags some separation. With the score 22-15, the Stags went on an extended 17-1 run to open their largest lead at 39-16. Max McCalla started the run with two straight baskets, which was followed by a Matt Meredith technical free throw and a Rhett Carter bucket.

After the Crusaders made a foul shot to close to 29-17, Angle hit two three-pointers around a Kruse lay-up, and Justin Pratt capped a 10-0 spurt with a layup with 3:18 left in the half.

Mary Hardin-Baylor trailed 40-20 at the half, and tried to get back in it, closing to within 48-35, but Angle had five straight points on a three and a two to get the lead back to 18 with 13:06 left. He then had eight straight CMS points in a span of 1:06 to reach 36 points with 6:07 left, putting CMS ahead 71-50, and a late Mary Hardin-Baylor run could only serve to make it an 11-point margin at the final horn. 

CMS had a dominant performance on the boards, holding a 40-26 rebounding advantage behind 10 from Kruse, seven from Meredith and six from Angle. Brian Kenyon hed CMS with five assists, leading an offense that shot 51.8 percent from the floor (29-56). 

The Stags will return to action over the weekend for a two-game road trip to Oregon, facing Lewis & Clark on Friday and George Fox on Saturday.