Photo: Bob Paz
EAGLE ROCK, Calif. (Jan. 26, 2018) – Junior guard Alec Andrews (Folsom, Calif. / Folsom) of the Caltech men's basketball team set the program's single-game assist record when the Beavers traveled to Occidental College on Saturday night for their third meeting with the Tigers this season.
Andrews dished out 12 assists in a game where the visiting Caltech hung its most amount of points on Oxy this season (62). Seven of Andrews' assists came in the first half, which ended with the Beavers trailing the Tigers by just four points after overcoming a slow start. Caltech outscored Oxy, 26-22 after the first four minutes of the half, using the three-pointer effectively to keep them around even as the home team began to heat up. Half of Caltech's total shot attempts came from deep while converting on 31-percent of them.
Sophomore guard Marcus Gee (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica) benefited the most from Andrews' historic passing game, turning in a team-high 22 points stemming from five baskets from deep in addition to a few added floaters and a big three-point play that cut the deficit to seven points with eight minutes to play. Gee's scoring helped keep the Beavers involved throughout the entire game and brought the visitors as close to beating the Tigers as they have come all season. Classmate Gokul Srinivasaragavan (San Ramon, Calif. / Dougherty Valley) put in 11 points off the bench and freshman guard Noah Barnes (Springfield, Va. / Jefferson) scored 14 points with each player knocking down two three's apiece. Caltech also narrowed the rebounding gap with Oxy, with freshman forward Riley O'Neil (Santa Rosa, Calif. / Montgomery) giving his team a team-high seven rebounds off the bench. The Beavers entered the game's final five minutes trailing the Tigers by just five points but fell victim to the home team's experience down the stretch.
Even in defeat, the Beavers showcased their mental toughness to the road crowd a quality that is rapidly becoming a strength of Caltech's young core.
"On a number of occasions tonight we showed how we can be resilient," Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger said. "The effort to even out the game was there and we demonstrated our grit. Tenacity is a hallmark of this team and an idea on which our program is built."
Eslinger and the Beavers will make their return to Pasadena on Wednesday, Jan. 30 when they host California Lutheran University at 7 p.m.