LA VERNE, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2018) – Fueled by 20-point performances by a pair of freshmen, the Caltech men's basketball team went to its fourth overtime game of the 2017-18 season at the University of La Verne on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman forward Spencer Schneider (Houston, Texas / Clearbrook) shot 50-percent from the field on his way to a career-high 29 points to go with six rebounds. Schneider's improvement at the foul line helped his performance, as he converted on 7-of-11 free throw attempts. Another freshman, Gokul Srinivasaragavan (San Ramon, Calif. / Dougherty Valley) notched his second consecutive 20-plus point game off the bench, scoring 21 points to go with five rebounds. Both players typically thrive from beyond the arc, but the Beavers utilized a paint-based gameplan against a smaller Leopards team. The proof is in the statistics, as the Beavers scored 44 of their 86 points – more than half in the paint. Caltech also won the turnover battle, 12-15, and shot 71-percent from the foul line, an overall improvement from this season's 63-percent.
Caltech took a 42-35 lead into halftime thanks to 13 first-half points from Srinivasaragavan and 10 from sophomore guard Alec Andrews (Folsom, Calif. / Folsom). Fellow sophomore guard Bret Johnson (Carlsbad, Calif. / Santa Fe Christian), meanwhile set his teammates up with five assists in the half. The Beavers faced adversity when the Leopards tied the game at 56 with 12 minutes to go, but Caltech remained involved thanks to continuous scoring from Schneider. The freshman scored his team's final 11 points of the half, and the Beavers' 80 points were enough to go to overtime for a second time this season with the Leopards. The visitors' offense, however got off on the wrong foot and did not find the same extra period success from the previous La Verne meeting. Still, 59 points from its freshmen should set the men's basketball team up for future success, perhaps as soon as its next game.
Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger and the Beavers will wrap the 2018 season at home against visiting Claremont-Mudd-Scripss Colleges on Tuesday, Feb. 20.