PASADENA - The Caltech men's basketball team fell short of a season-opening victory against visiting Occidental College in Tuesday's 110 Freeway Rivalry game.
The Beavers held things together defensively in the first half, limiting the Tigers to 10-of-28 shooting during that span. In doing so, they entered the second half trailing their opponents, 23-21, with the game well within striking distance.
Occidental found its rhythm in the second half, however, and Caltech ultimately succumbed to its SCIAC rival, 61-45, in a game that will not count towards either team's conference record.
Freshman guard Alec Andrews (Folsom, Calif. / Folsom) got the start in his first regular season game at Caltech and made the most of his opportunity. Andrews, who also started against Division I Cal-State Fullerton last Friday, led the Beavers with 12 points, all of which came from four three-pointers on six attempts. Three of Andrews' triples came in the second half when his team needed them most, while he also contributed in other facets of the game with five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Senior Nasser Al-Rayes (Doha, Qatar / American School of Doha) asserted himself beneath the glass despite scoring only five points. The 6-10 center closed the game with 12 rebounds, 11 of which came on the defensive glass, and blocked a game-high four shots.
Seniors Ricky Galliani (Menlo Park, Calif. / Sacred Heart Prep) and David LeBaron (San Diego, Calif. / Francis Parker) each had 10 points and four rebounds. Galliani got to the free throw line more than any other player in the game and converted on five of his eight attempts.
Occidental threatened to pull away early in the second half, but Caltech kept things close with an 11-5 scoring run keyed by an Andrews three-pointer at 13:16. By the four-minute mark, however, the Tigers had put the game firmly out of reach as the Beavers shot a meager 31 percent from the field.
Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger and the Beavers will enjoy six days of rest before they look to right the ship next Monday, Nov. 21 when they host Oglethorpe University (0-0).