Claremont is better known for its academics but on Saturday evening the NCAA Division III Stags showed they could perform out of the classroom, too, as they built a 20-point halftime and then held off The Master’s College 71-65 to hand the Mustangs their first loss (6-1) of the 2011-12 season.
The host Stags built their large, first-half lead on the strength of 56% shooting from the field, including a 5-10 showing from behind the arc. Meanwhile, the Mustangs managed just 35% accuracy and were just 2-9 from three-point range en route to a 41-21 halftime deficit.
They turned things around significantly in the second half but fell just short of a dramatic comeback. Hitting 57% of their shots over the final 20 minutes, highlighted by a 7-12 display from long range, the Mustangs got back into the game but weren’t able to rally all the way back as the Stags (5-25, 20% in the second half) iced the win at the free throw line, going 18-21 in the second half.
Senior Anthony Cammon paced the Mustangs with 20 points while Leif Karlberg drained a season-high five three-pointers on the way to 17 points.
A positive response to their first loss of the season will be crucial for the Mustangs when they open GSAC play on Tuesday against No. 15 Biola. Tip-off is slated for 7:30pm in Bross Gym.