La Verne falls at No. 18 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 90-81

La Verne falls at No. 18 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 90-81

Photo by Chris Mora

CLAREMONT, Calif. — No. 18 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps rode a massive second half run to defeat the La Verne men's basketball team 90-81 on Thursday night at Roberts Pavilion.

The Leopards (11-6, 5-3 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) led by as many as 16 points in the second half, but CMS outscored the Leopards 28-6 starting at about the 11-minute mark to erase the deficit and took an 84-76 lead with 51 seconds to go. The Stags went 10-for-14 from the field during the stretch as Michael Scarlett and Miles President combined for 15 points.

La Verne shot well in the second half, going 11-for-22, but turnovers and missed free throws proved to be their undoing. The Leopards committed nine turnovers in the second half—seven in the final 10 minutes—that turned into 16 points on the other end for the Stags and made just 5 of 11 free throws in the half.

Hakim Arnold led the Leopards with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists. Cruz Mertens scored 17 points and grabbedd three rebounds. Connor Head scored nine points and Anthony White added eight.

Scarlett led all players with 25 points and added eight rebounds and three assists for the Stags (14-1, 7-0). Kendrick Morris scored 15 points and President and Riley Hall each had 11.

The first half was a polar opposite of the second as La Verne executed their gameplan to perfection. The Leopards hit 17 of 34 field goals including 6 of 14 from downtown and was accurate from the line, going 13-for-15 at the stripe. More importantly, the Leopards committed just one turnover, which allowed them to control the tempo. CMS did keep up for most of the half but the Leopards closed the frame on an 8-0 keyed by a couple of 3-pointers from Mertens and White to take a 53-44 lead going into the break.

The Leopards kept up the pressure in the opening minutes of the second half. Arnold hit three shots in a row to open the half and the Leopards made five of their first seven shots to take the largest lead of the game at 63-47 before the Stags made their run.

The Leopards are back in action on Tuesday at Pomona-Pitzer.

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