LA VERNE, CA – A courageous second half effort came-up short as the Caltech men's basketball dropped its first SCIAC road contest of the season 62-52 to La Verne.
The Beavers rallied from a 16-point first half deficit to within four points on two occasions in the closing minutes but couldn't complete the rally.
La Verne took the biggest lead of the game with 6:32 left in the first frame when a Kendall McClain three-pointer made the score 25-9. The Beavers responded by finishing the half on a 10-5 scoring run to get within 11 points at 30-19 at the halftime horn.
Caltech put together one of their best shooting half's of the season in mounting their comeback. During the final 20 minutes the Beavers hit 14 of their 27 field goal attempts (51.9 percent) in making the Leopards fight for the win. It was the third best shooting half of the season for Caltech.
Just past the midway point of the stanza, Ricky Galliani's jumper put the scoreboard at 42-38 with 9:24 left in the contest. The Leopards nudged their lead back into the double figures at 52-40 with 4:11 remaining. Yet Caltech made a final run at the home team's lead.
Trailing by that 11-point spread, Caltech scored 12 of the next 16 points capped off by a Kc Emezie jumper with 53 ticks left on the clock. La Verne scored on their next possession to up their lead to 58-52 as Caltech took possession with 38 seconds left. Unfortunately for the Beavers a turnover and steals put any hopes of completing to the comeback to rest. La Verne sealed the game by going 4-for-4 at the charity stripe.
A well balanced scoring attack for Caltech was led by Emezie's 16-point evening. It is the fourth time this season the sophomore has been the team's high scorer. Eight different players found their way into the scoring column.
The Beavers offense produced one of their better shooting efforts on the season as they connected on 48.9 percent (23-for-47) of their field goal attempts.
Weston Newall came off the bench to score a team best 13 points for the Leopards.