Photo: Bob Paz
PASADENA (Jan. 11, 2020) – The Caltech men's basketball team came on strong late in the second half and nearly stole a win from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday afternoon.
The Beavers peaked at the right time and snuck up on the Stags with a 19-4 barrage over the game's final eight minutes. After trailing by as many as 26 points earlier in the half, Caltech whittled the deficit down to as few as five points after a pair of free throws from freshman guard Noah Barnes (Springfield, Va. / Jefferson). Of perhaps equal note, the Caltech defense found its form late in the game, holding CMS to just 13 points over the game's final 15 minutes in perhaps the Beavers' best defensive stretch of the season. Senior forward Aaron Ayres (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) played key minutes over this stretch and made a series of effort plays to energize his side.
Junior guard Marcus Gee (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica) played a key role in the Beavers' second-half surge, scoring 17 of his team-high 20 points over the game's final 20 minutes. Junior forward Spencer Schneider (Houston, Texas / Clearbrook), meanwhile, paced the Beavers through the first half where he scored 13 of 17 points, including 11 of the home team's first 14 points to open the game. The juniors proved to be focal points of the Caltech offense, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the home team's total points. The two players did a significant amount of damage at the free-throw line where they combined for 15 converted free throws. Gee particularly found his stroke by shooting 10-for-11 at the line. Caltech's repeated trips to the line played a role in the comeback, as the game's physical nature provided the home team with an opportunity to put heavy pressure on a tough CMS team in crunch time.
Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger and the Beavers will have an opportunity to return to their winning ways on Wednesday, Jan. 15 when they travel to California Lutheran University.