MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – In the consolation game of the MSOE All-Engineers Classic, Caltech rallied from an early deficit but couldn't quite overcome the United States Merchant Marine Academy as the Mariners held on 67-59 on Sunday afternoon.
USMMA reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and came into the Classic having received votes in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll. After a quick start, the Mariners held their largest lead of the first half at 30-11 with 8:00 left. However, the Beavers fought back to within five, 36-31, after Mike Edwards canned two 3-pointers and converted back-to-back free throws with 59 seconds left until halftime. The Mariners went into the locker room with a 38-31 lead after a Tom Izzo lay-in five seconds later proved to be the final field goal of the first half.
The Mariners (2-2) scored the first 12 points of the second half as they built a 50-31 lead with 16:01 left in the game. Once again, Caltech (0-2) chipped away at the deficit. The Beavers went on a 17-5 scoring spurt over the next six minutes and pulled within seven points on two Ryan Elmquist layups, 55-48. USMMA pushed its advantage back to double figures in taking a 61-50 edge with 5:44 left in regulation.
Caltech made one final push as Edwards nailed a pair of foul shots to bring the Beavers to within five points at 61-56 with 2:26 left. That was as close as Caltech would get as USMMA converted on all four of its free throw efforts and hit on its only field goal attempt during the final portion of the contest.
Elmquist led all scorers for Caltech as he scored a game high 19 points while tallying seven rebounds. Mike Paluchniak played a game high 39 minutes and scored 15 points. Todd Cramer notched a 13-point effort while corralling a team high eight rebounds. Edwards rounded out the double figure scores for the Beavers by recording 12 points to go along with three steals. The quadrant of players accounted for all the points Caltech scored.
For the contest, Caltech forced 20 USMMA turnovers and sunk 17 of 19 free throws.
For his efforts over the two-day, four-team event Elmquist was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 36 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and blocking six shots during the classic.