With 43 seconds remaining in the SCIAC semifinal on Friday, Feb. 26, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s basketball team (13-12, 8-8 SCIAC) trailed Chapman University (20-6, 12-4 SCIAC) by five points. After struggling in the first half offensively, the Stags entered the second half down 37-25, and valiantly battled to even the score.
That night, the seniors, faced with their last post season, owned the court. Shelby Lane CM ’16 led the team with 18 points, while Jason Harrington CM ’16 followed with 11 points. With just over three minutes remaining in the game, the Stags faced a 12-point defecit but didn't let the lead phase them. CMS responded with 10 consecutive points to close the gap to 66-61, thanks to contributions from Harrington, Lane, and Jack Earley CM '16. Nick Lund CM ’16 also helped keep the Stags in the game with six points for the night.
Now, down by five points, the Stags had their chance. However, fouls from Harrington and Riley Hall CM '16 sent Chapman freshman Cam Haslam to the free-throw line. As Haslam made the four consecutive free-throws, the Panthers' lead extended from five to nine with just 34 seconds to play. Unfortunately, time did not work in the Stags' favor: CMS' offense went cold in the last 43 seconds, which sealed the Panthers' 71-61 victory.
After a tight 77-73 win over Chapman just three days prior to the rematch, the Panthers stopped CMS just short of the SCIAC finals. Nevertheless, the Stags played a hard-fought game that reflected their resilience throughout the entire season. The team finished the season 13-12 overall, marking CMS basketball’s 19th straight winning season.