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CMS Men's Basketball Falls to Whitman in NCAA Second Round OT Thriller

CMS Men's Basketball Falls to Whitman in NCAA Second Round OT Thriller

NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Bracket

CMS Men's Basketball

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) men's basketball team fell to No. 1 Whitman, 89-84 in Saturday evening's NCAA Division III Championship Second Round overtime thriller at the Sherwood Center on the campus of pod host Whitman in Walla Walla, Wash. 

With the loss, CMS concludes its stellar 2017-18 campaign, 20-8 overall, while Whitman improves to 28-1 overall and will take on Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the NCAA Sweet 16 next weekend. After knocking off the second-ranked team in the country last night, the Stags earned a matchup with the nation's top-ranked squad, but for the second time in as many years, fell to the Blues (Whitman won, 79-73 last year). 

In the first half, CMS was led by a 11-point effort from Michael Scarlett who cashed in on three treys in the opening 20 minutes. Patrick Myers and Scott Lynds complimented Scarlett's surge from long distance with six and five points respectively. Tim Howell and Joey Hewitt led the Whitman offensive efforts in the first stanza as the pair combined for 26 points in the first half, highlighted by Howell's 9-for-12, 18-point effort. The Blues led by as many as 12 points three times during the first period en route to a 44-32 advantage at intermission. 

In the second half, CMS stormed back behind a superb performance from Lynds and Miles President as the Stags' late surge resulted in a game-tying bucket with 11 seconds left by Lynds to set the score at 76-76. With .5 seconds left, Whitman had a chance to forge ahead with time all but expired, but a pair of missed free throws sent the game to overtime. Lynds totaled 24 points after regulation, while President added 18. Scarlett, who had a terrific first frame, collected 19 after 40 minutes of play. For the Blues, Howell led all scorers with 25 points, followed by Austin Butler with 14 and Hewitt with 12. 

In a back-and-forth extra period, CMS scored the first bucket to take a 78-76 lead, but Whitman was able to regain its slim cushion. A pair of free throws by Howell with 1:57 to play in the period lifted the Blues' edge to 83-80, before a runner by Lynds pulled the Stags back to within one at 83-82. Following another basket by Howell, Scarlett answered to keep the difference at one (85-84) with less than a minute to play, but Howell nailed four straight free throws down the stretch to lift Whitman to a hard-fought victory. 

Howell led all scorers with 35 points (14-for-24) and added six rebounds, and four assists, while Butler and Hewitt followed with 15 and 14 points respectively.

For the Stags, who suffered their first loss in 2018, Lynds finished with a team-best 26 points, while Scarlett and President added 23 and 20 points in the losing effort. Scarlett and Jack Ely led CMS on the glass with six boards apiece.