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CMS Secures Regular Season Title, Men's Basketball Tournament Field Set

CMS Secures Regular Season Title, Men's Basketball Tournament Field Set

> 2018 SCIAC Men's Basketball Tournament Central

The field for the 2018 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Men's Basketball Tournament has been set with semifinals set for Friday, February 23 at the higher seeds, while the finals are slated for Saturday, February 24 at the highest remaining seed.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) (17-7) and Occidental (19-6) earned the top two seeds in the 2018 SCIAC Tournament. The Stags secured the top seed with a 15-1 mark against league competition, with their lone setback coming at Redlands in the conference opener on Dec. 6, 2017. The Tigers clinched the second seed after posting a 12-4 SCIAC record, finishing one slot ahead of Pomona-Pitzer which also finished the 2017-18 season with a 12-4 ledger in league play.

CMS will host fourth-seeded Chapman (17-8) on Friday in semifinal action, while Occidental will host the third-seeded Sagehens (14-11) in Friday's other semifinal matchup. The Stags swept the season series with Chapman, posting victories of 70-63 (Jan. 13) and 72-63 on Feb. 17, while the Tigers and Pomona-Pitzer split. Occidental won the first meeting, 64-60 on Jan. 13, with the Sagehens earning a 61-47 victory on Feb. 17. 

CMS claimed its fifth tournament crown following a 77-71 victory over Cal Lutheran in last year's championship game to earn the SCIAC's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship. The Stags took down Whitworth in the NCAA First Round (78-73) before falling to Whitman (79-73) in the second round. 

A LOOK AT THE FIELD

Top-seeded CMS takes the floor having won 14 straight games since Jan. 3 and is led by Michael Scarlett who averages 18.9 points per game. Scott Lynds and Kendrick Morris follow averaging 14.6 and 14.0 points per contest, while Morris leads the Stags with 8.0 rebounds per outing. Jack Ely adds 6.8 rebounds per game, and 2.9 assists per contest. 

Occidental clinched the second seed and is led by Zach Baines and Austin DeWitz. Baines leads the Tigers with an 18.6 points per game average, while pullding down 7.2 boards per contest. DeWitz follows with 17.0 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, while Bryan Kaneshiro has dished out 4.0 assists per outing. 

Daniel Rosenbaum leads third-seeded Pomona-Pitzer averaging 16.0 points per game, while Micah Elan and Adam Rees average 15.7 and 10.0 points per game respectively. The trio also leads the Sagehens on the glass as Rosenbaum averages 7.1 rebounds per game, followed by Elan and Rees with 4.6 and 4.5 boards per outing. 

Fourth-seeded Chapman posted a 10-6 mark in league action during the 2017-18 campaign to secure the fourth seed in the SCIAC tournament. The Panthers take the court led by Rob Nelsen who averages 15.6 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game. Reed Smith follows with an 11.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game average, while Reed Nakakihara has chipped in 9.9 points per outing. Luke Selway has been Chapman's top player on the glass, pulling down 7.0 boards per contest this season.