CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Cal Lutheran men's basketball team was faced with an all too familiar opponent on Friday night, and in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament Semifinal game, the Kingsmen fell 77-51 to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
In the third matchup between these two teams this season, the Kingsmen were looking to get over the hump after falling in the previous two games. CLU took an early 6-4 lead and Coltrane Powdrill extended it with an electrifying slam-dunk after driving to the paint. The senior forward was fouled on the play and converted the and-one to give the Kingsmen a 9-4 advantage.
Powdrill was fouled again on the next CLU possession and converted two-free throws to give the Kingsmen their largest lead of the game, up six points, 11-5.
Dan Wade drained a three-pointer for the Violet and Gold to maintain an 18-13 lead with 9:26 remaining in the first half, but Claremont-Mudd-Scripps caught fire from the field and went on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes.
Led by SCIAC leading scorer, Tyler Gaffaney, the Stags hit three consecutive three-pointers with a jumper mixed in to turn the tide and take a 26-18 lead. CLU would not go down without a fight and responded with a 10-2 run to tie the game at 28 apiece.
Arik Smith fueled the rally, scoring seven of the 10 Kingsmen points, and capped off the run with a steal and breakaway dunk.
CMS, however, closed out the half on a 9-2 run to take a 37-30 lead into the break.
In the second half it was all Stags, who outscored the Kingsmen 41-20 in the period, and closed out the game on a 21-5 run over the last 8:16.
CLU shot just 27.3 percent in the half (6-for-22) while CMS was a red-hot 60 percent (13-for-20) and hit 4-of-7 three-point attempts. The Stags finished the game shooting 59.1 percent and hit a total of nine three-pointers while the Kingsmen shot 32.7 percent.
In their final games as Kingsmen, the senior duo of Powdrill and Smith led the way in scoring one last time adding 21 and 12 points, respectively. Powdrill finished a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe and Smith had a game-high two steals and hit two three-pointers.
Gaffaney went 9-for-11 from the floor to lead all players with 26 points and Jack Early added 16 for the Stags.
No. 2 seed CMS (20-6) advances to the SCIAC Tournament Championship where they will play at No. 1 seed Chapman (22-4) on Saturday night. The winner will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament.
Cal Lutheran finishes the year 18-7 and will graduate seniors Martin Flowers, John Green, Powdrill and Smith.
Box Score: CMS 77, CLU 51
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Season Comes to a Close for Kingsmen
Posted: Feb 27, 2015