MEN'S BASKETBALL POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT
After an eventful final few weeks, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (13-3) emerged as the SCIAC champion and Post-Season Tournament #1 seed. California Lutheran University (12-4), the University of La Verne (10-6) and Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (10-6) all notched victories over the previously undefeated Stags in the season’s last two weeks but enter the tournament behind the regular season champions, with #3 La Verne traveling to #2 CLU and the #4 Sagehens crossing Sixth Street in Claremont to challenge the top seed.
CMS hopes to represent the SCIAC in the NCAA Championships for the second time in three seasons after rising to a high ranking of No. 15 before suffering losses in three of the final six games. The mid-season injury to Scott Lynds clearly had a significant effect on the Stags, but Player of the Year candidate Michael Scarlett took over ball-handling duties and has improved his already exemplary scoring record to rank second in the conference at 19.3 points per game. Kendrick Morris provides a solid inside presence, ranking second in field goal percentage (63.4), 12th inscoring (12.9) and 14th in rebounding (5.9) despite playing just 22.4 minutes per game. Slasher Riley Hall rounds out a formidable trio ranking sixth in rebounds (6.8) and seventh in assists (2.7).
Pomona-Pitzer spent much of the season in second place thanks to a 6-1 start and overcame straight losses to all three other tournament contenders to knock off then-No. 15 CMS and clinch a spot in the field. The guard play of Corbin Koch, Daniel Rosenbaum and rookie Michael Elan has been arguably the strongest in the conference as all three rank among the Top 16 scorers, with Koch leading the charge in fifth (17.1) and holding the same position in three-point percentage (45.2). As one of few true centers in the conference, Mitchell Finkel led the SCIAC in offensive rebounding (2.2) and ranked fifth in blocks (1.0) across only 20.2 minutes per game.
By far the league’s two most explosive offenses will meet in the other semifinal. CLU and La Verne finished a mere two points apart in scoring over 16 games but nearly 150 points clear of any other team. After splitting the regular season meetings by scores of 93-81 and 113-87, with each winning on their home court, CLU will be thankful to have earned the home court advantage here. The Kingsmen boast the top two three-point shooters in the conference in Wolfgang Wood (53.3) and Kyle Ferreira (51.3) and bring field goal percentage leader Kenneth Moffett (63.5) off the bench for 18.5 minutes per game. SCIAC assists and steals leader and POY candidate Caleb Richey dished out nearly five more assists than any other player at an average of 8.1 and CLU will get a boost with the recent return of Adrian Francis from injury.
La Verne is led by another POY candidate in Hakim Arnold, who ranked fourth in scoring (18.1) and third in rebounds (7.1) while chipping in a fair number of assists and steals. Deadeye three-point specialist Cruz Mertens stretches defenses for Arnold and Anthony White, the only non-senior starter for the Leopards who averaged 16.4 points per game (sixth in SCIAC) and shot 40 percent from three (ninth). Kendall McClain marshals the offense, ranking fifth with 2.8 assists per game and second in the conference with a 4.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Semifinal Contests - Friday, February 24, 2017 - 7 p.m.
Finals - Saturday, February 25, 2017
No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 77, No. 2 Cal Lutheran 71 BOX SCORE
Ticket prices for admission to SCIAC Postseason Tournament matches are set by the conference and are as follows:
- Spectators w/ current SCIAC ID (Students, Faculty, Staff) – Free
- Children 12 and under – Free
- General Admission - $10
- Senior (55 and older) & Veteran - $5
|No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS)
||No. 2 Cal Lutheran (CLU)
No. 3 La Verne
|No. 4 Pomona-Pitzer (PP)
|20-4 (13-3 SCIAC)||16-9 (10-6 SCIAC)||14-11(10-6 SCIAC)|
||Season Stats||Season Stats||Season Stats|
Previous Tournament Champions
2008-09 - Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
2009-10 - Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
2011-12 - Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
2012-13 - Redlands