Photo by samsphotoservices.com
By Jack Brancheau
LOS ANGELES — Monday night's SCIAC match-up between the #1 CMS Stags and #2 Occidental Tigers did not disappoint, as the Stags went on to edge the Tigers, 68-62, in an all-around well-played game.
Both teams got off to a cold start, the Tigers failed to score in the first four minutes and shot 27% from the field in the first half. Thanks to solid defensive work from all five Oxy starters, the Stags would only finish the first half up 30-22.
Claremont came out of the half hot, quickly extending their lead to 13. The Tigers rallied back, getting big buckets and stops from both Zach Baines and Caleb Yellin-Flaherty. Baines got the Tigers within 3 with just under two minutes to go. Ultimately, the Stags would outlast Oxy — hitting clutch free throws and out-shooting the Tigers 45% to 34% from the field.
Despite the loss, the Tigers played well throughout the game - winning the turnover war and out rebounding the Stags 39 to 30. Zach Baines had a monster night for Oxy, scoring 24 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Flaherty, who has played extremely well of late, was huge on the offensive glass for the Tigers, grabbing 10 boards and scoring 14 points.
Austin Dewitz added 13 points and 9 rebounds, along with lock down defense. Ryan Kaneshiro played well on both sides of the ball, notching 4 assists, 6 rebounds, and two steals.
Claremont guard Scott Lynds was the difference for the Stags. He had 22 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds - seemingly answering every Tiger basket with one of his own. 2017 SCIAC Player of the Year Michael Scarlett had a modest night, but made a wild scoop lay up and a pair free throws to put the game out of reach.
Season Impact: The Tigers fall to 17-5 overall and 10-3 in conference, while CMS moves to 14-7 overall and 12-1 in SCIAC play.
Looking Ahead: The Tigers take on Chapman University, Wednesday, February 12th at Rush Gym.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram