PASADENA, CA – In front of an electric crowd during the final home game of the season, Caltech gave Redlands all they could handle. However, the Bulldogs won a frenetic game 76-70.
Caltech's defense shut down the Bulldogs to start the game. The Beavers jumped out to a 14-6 lead less than nine minutes into the game by holding Redlands without a field on their first 12 shots. The visitor's offense started to click as they hit six of their next nine field goal attempts. Redlands took a 26-19 lead with 5:27 left until intermission.
Taking advantage of a highly energetic home crowd, the Beavers responded. During the final five-plus minutes Redlands was limited to just one field goal as Caltech finished the frame on a 12-5 scoring spurt to take a 33-31 at the break.
During the first 20 minutes the teams combined to take 38 free throws. Caltech went 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) while the Bulldogs converted on 13 of their 20 attempts (65.0 percent) from the charity stripe.
The crowd really got into the game during a 30-second stretch just before the midway point of the second frame. Bryan Joel and Ricky Galliani nailed three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to push Caltech in front 50-46 with 12:47 remaining. Caltech went up by a 59-54 count with just over seven minutes left.
Redlands responded by taking their first lead since early in the second half. An Alex Rudd three-pointer with 4:31 left put the visitors in front 64-62. On the Beaver's next opportunity Kc Emezie hit two free throws to tie the score for the ninth time. After both teams failed to score on their next possessions, Redlands nudged in front over the next few minutes.
The Bulldogs scored on their next three possessions as they grabbed a 69-64 lead with 70 ticks left on the clock. Each team committed turnovers on their next chances. Luke Lango brought Caltech within 69-66 on a pair of foul shots with 45 seconds left. Electing to play defense, Caltech forced Redlands deep into the shot clock. Unfortunately with 18 seconds left Aljosa Bjekovic hit a lay-up off a feed from Rudd.
Down 73-68, the Beavers got to foul line where Galliani made two to get his team within three points. Caltech fouled to send Ricky Peetz to foul line. After missing the first the senior made it a two possession game by making his second to put Redlands up 74-70. After a Beavers turnover, the Bulldogs sealed the game with two foul shots from Bkekovic.
Caltech made nine three-pointers which tied their season high. The Beavers hit the same number during their game at Redlands on Jan. 8.
Galliani came off the bench to play the best game of his collegiate career. The first-year nailed five of his six shots from behind the arc to record a team high 19 points in 29 minutes. The points, three-pointers made and minutes played all represented career highs.
Joel went 4-for-9 from behind the arc during his 15-point performance. Lawrence Lee scored 10 points in 24 minutes to round out the double figure scorers for the Beavers.
Bjekovic recorded a double-double as he posted game high in points (21) and rebounds (10). The sophomore went 8-for-12 from the foul line and converted on six of his 12 field goal attempts. Alex Rudd contributed a 19-point effort off the bench while Ricky Peetz added a 15-point evening.
Caltech concludes the season with a pair of road games next week. They travel to Chapman on Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. to start the road swing.