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Josh Angle had four steals to lead a locked-in defense
Josh Angle had four steals to lead a locked-in defense

CMS Men's Basketball Cranks Up the Defense in 60-39 Road Win over Caltech

PASADENA, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's basketball team held Caltech to below 30 percent shooting (27.1) from the floor as it captured a 60-39 road win on Saturday afternoon at the Braun Athletic Center.

With the win, the 18th-ranked Stags move to 13-2 overall and 5-1 in the SCIAC, heading into a big week where it faces the other top two teams in the league (at Redlands on Wednesday, home for Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday). Caltech slips to 4-10 overall and 1-4 in the league with the loss. 

Josh Angle finished with 16 points, Kiran Kruse and Rhett Carter each had 13 and Justin Pratt tallied 10 for the Stags, which relied on a balanced offense to pull away in a game that was just 23-19 at the half. Defensively, the Stags shut Caltech down with solid defense, tallying no blocked shots on the day and just six steals (four from Angle).   

Angle closed out the first half with a lay-up to give CMS a four-point lead and then the Stags opened the second half on a 10-0 run to take control. Angle scored off a feed from Kruse, and then Pratt scored off an assist from Brian Kenyon. A Kruse jumper pushed the lead into double figures for the first time at 29-19 with 16:52 left, and Pratt and Carter capped off the 12-0 run spanning both halves with consecutive baskets. 

Caltech responded with an 8-0 run of its own to get back within 33-27. Cahal Connolly stopped that urn with a basket, and after Caltech hit two foul shots, CMS went on a 9-0 run to effectively put the game away. Angle had five points during the run, while Max McCalla and Pratt added baskets as well. 

The Stags won on an uncharacteristically cold-shooting day, hitting just 2-15 from three-point territory (both makes from Kruse, who was 2-4). Inside the arc, though, CMS shot 24-36 from the floor (66.7 percent), and had a 32-14 advantage in points in the paint. 

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday when it travels to Redlands, which came into the day undefeated in the SCIAC heading into tonight's game with Cal Lutheran. The Stags will then be home for the Sixth Street Rivalry game on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Pomona-Pitzer.