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Kiran Kruse finished with a career-high 28 points (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Kiran Kruse finished with a career-high 28 points (photo by Eva Fernandez)

CMS Men's Basketball Edged by Saint Thomas 84-79 for First Defeat

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team took a late lead after trailing almost the entire game, but St. Thomas (Texas) responded with an 8-0 run down the stretch to come away with an 84-79 win over the Stags on Friday evening at Roberts Pavilion.

CMS, which was playing without starting forward Matt Meredith, got a career-high 28 points from Kiran Kruse, and a career-high 13 rebounds from point guard Brian Kenyon, but slips to 3-1 on the year. St. Thomas, which got 22 points from Nick Anderson, moves to 3-0. 

The Stags never led until Justin Pratt converted a three-point play with 3:27 to go to put CMS up 69-67. The Celts led throughout but were never able to get separation, as the Stags stayed within striking distance until Josh Angle (23 points) knocked down a three-pointer and then fed Pratt for the go-ahead basket and foul. 

The Celts answered back with a three-pointer from Zack Golaszewski off an offensive rebound with 2:44 to go, and Rhett Carter split two at the line to tie the game 70-70 with 2:26 left. Anderson then came up big, making the go-ahead jumper with 1:44 left, and then getting a steal and a breakaway dunk with 1:09 left. The Celts tacked on four more foul shots to go ahead 78-70 before the Stags had one final run to try to tie it. 

Kruse made two foul shots with 26 seconds left to make the score 80-74, and Angle stole the ensuing inbounds pass and laid it in to make it an 80-76 game. After St. Thomas split two at the line, Angle hit a clutch three to cut it to two with only 15 seconds left. St. Thomas split two at the line again leaving CMS a chance to tie.

The Stags called a timeout with six seconds left, and tried to free up Max McCalla for a three-pointer in the short corner. Golaszewski contested the shot, though, and got a piece of it, then tracked down the rebound and made two foul shots to seal it. 

Kenyon finished with six points, 13 rebounds and six assists, helping to fill the void left by Meredith's absence as the team's leading rebounder. Angle had six assists to go with his 23 points, and Pratt finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. 

CMS will be back in action when it hosts the David Wells Classic on Friday and Saturday, facing Puget Sound on Friday at Pomona-Pitzer and then facing UC Santa Cruz on Saturday at Roberts Pavilion.