Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – It was a story of two halves Wednesday night as the Whittier College Men's Basketball team saw Claremont-M-S run away with the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match-up 81-55.
After battling in the first half where they trailed only by nine at intermission, the Purple & Gold saw the Stags put up 47 points in the second en route to the lopsided victory. Whittier has dropped two of their last three moving to 6-10, 3-4 SCIAC.
Jacob Aruta (Stockton, Calif.) who found himself in the starting lineup as a guard led the scoring with 14 points going 6-for-11 from the field. He was joined by Kyle Price (Rocklin, Calif.) who registered 13 points, four boards and a career high six blocks. Kenyatta Louder (Compton, Calif.) finished with nine points, five boards and three assists and Joey Toyama (Pasadena, Calif.) added eight points with two triples in 17 minutes of action. Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.) had a tough shooting night going 2-for-10 from the field for six points, while Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) was held scoreless for the first time this season. Both Longmire and Potthoff combined for nine rebounds.
Whittier shot 29.2% from the field and 24% from three-point territory. They were outrebounded 47-38 and lost the battle inside 44-24. The Poets led by four midway through the first half thanks to an 8-0 run that included a layin from Aruta and back to back triples from Louder and Longmire. But that would be the only time WC would lead as CMS would come back to put together an ensuing 16-2 run that gave them a 23-14 lead with under five minutes to play in the half. Longmire stopped the run with another long ball that made the deficit seven and Aruta tacked on another take inside that made it a five-point game. But over the final 2:35, the Stags would add another eight despite Toyama going off with back to back three-pointers that kept it a nine-point deficit.
The Stags outscored Whittier 47-30 in the second half that broke open a game that was still anyone's contest. The Poets stayed within six with 15:23 to play after two foul shots from Louder but after that the Stags put together another run this time going 11-1 over a two minute span that broke the game open. This gave CMS a double digit lead and they didn't look back as they put the final run together, which included 13 unanswered that gave them a 70-42 advantage.
Whittier travels this Saturday to Thousand Oaks, Calif. for a doubleheader with the ladies. On Saturday, January 19 they will take on Cal Lutheran University with tip-off at 4:00pm.