CLAREMONT, Calif. – Caltech nailed 15 of their 23 second half field goal attempts (65.2 percent) as they knocked off Wisconsin-Lutheran 73-58 on Monday evening during the final game of the CMS/Caltech SCIAC men's basketball Winter Classic.
Caltech (4-7) has won four their last six games heading into the start of conference play on Saturday evening. It is the best six-game stretch for a Beaver basketball squad in 16 seasons.
"I was proud of the chemistry amongst everyone," head coach Oliver Eslinger said. "The bench really provided great energy away from home."
The Beavers jumped out of the gates quickly on Monday evening by scoring 19 of the game's first 30 points in the contest's first seven-plus minutes. The Warriors slowly chipped away and eventually took the lead at 27-26 with 3:35 left in the first period. It was the only lead Wisconsin-Lutheran (2-9) had the entire night as Caltech scored the final three points of the frame in taking a 29-27 lead into halftime.
Caltech's second half shooting display pushed their lead to 43-32 when Mike Edwards nailed a three-pointer with 13:52 left in the game. Wisconsin-Lutheran responded with five consecutive points to get their deficit back to single digits. However, Caltech went on a 15-6 scoring spurt in taking their largest lead of the game at 58-41 with 8:22 remaining. The Beavers held a double-digit cushion the rest of the way.
"Our defense stepped up in the second half," freshman Will Dooris said. "We were more aggressive in pursuing the ball on both ends of the floor."
In addition to their overall second half shooting efficiency, the Beavers went 10-for-20 from behind the arc for the entire game to aid in their efforts. The 10 made three-pointers was one away from tying a school record for most in a single game. Caltech held the Warriors to a 20-for-60 shooting night (33.3 percent).
Edwards scored a game high 26 points on the strength of a 10-for-18 shooting performance. The sophomore nailed a game high six three-pointers. Todd Cramer continued his stellar freshman campaign with a 19-point, seven-assist evening while grabbing a team high six rebounds. Ryan Elmquist scored 14 points to round out the double digit scorers for the Beavers.
In the opening game of Monday's action at Ducey Gym, Claremont-MuddScripps defeated Eastern Connecticut State 73-57. Claremont-MuddScripps won both of their games during the four-team, two-day event. Caltech and Eastern Connecticut State went 1-1 while Wisconsin-Lutheran lost both their contests.