PASADENA, Calif. – The University of La Verne fought off a valiant second half comeback by Caltech in their 61-60 SCIAC men's basketball win on Wednesday evening at the Braun Athletic Center.
Trevor Woodland hit a left side baseline jumper from 13-feet with six seconds left for game winning bucket. On Caltech's (4-15, 0-8) ensuing possession Todd Cramer's running jumper from the right side didn't connect as time expired.
Caltech overcame a 10-point deficit in forcing a wild finish. A Tyler Hoyt three-pointer with 12:57 left in the contest gave La Verne (11-8, 6-2) a 48-38 lead before the home squad methodically dwindled away their deficit.
Using a 9-3 scoring spurt Caltech got within 51-47 on a Cramer mid-range jumper with 8:23 left. The Leopards responded with four consecutive points in building their lead to 55-47 with just over five minutes left in the contest before the Beavers made their closing charge.
Cramer finished off a 10-2 scoring run with a jumper at the 1:43 mark to tie the score at 57-57. After Woodland missed a three-pointer on La Verne's ensuing possession, Colin Murphy gave the Beavers their first lead of the game when he connected on one of his two free throws with 1:03 left. On La Verne's next possession Austin Napolitano missed a lay-up and Murphy was fouled with 42 seconds left on the defensive rebound.
The sophomore missed both of his free throws to keep the score at 58-57 in Caltech's advantage. Cramer grabbed the offensive rebound but he turned the ball over and fouled Jonathan Bastos with 35 seconds remaining. Bastos converted both of his free throws in giving La Verne a 59-58 lead. On the Beavers next possession Cramer gave the lead back to Caltech with 21 seconds left on a lay-up. La Verne's first field goal attempt was blocked out of bounds by Ryan Elmquist but Woodland's bucket on the in-bounds play sealed the win.
In the opening half La Verne held a lead as large as 10-points with 6:23 left until halftime. The Beavers were able to chip away as the Leopards went into the locker room with a 32-25 lead. During that opening half the visitors took advantage of their play in the paint as they outscore Caltech 16-4 down low. La Verne's defense held the Beavers to a 5-for-20 shooting (25 percent) effort while holding a 7-0 edge in points off turnovers in the first frame.
During the second period, the Beavers flipped their misfortunes around in making their comeback. Caltech converted 57.1 percent (12-of-21) of their field goal attempts while outscoring La Verne 18-8 in the paint in those final 20 minutes.
For the game Caltech went 24-for-36 from the free throw line. Both made free throws and attempted free throws represented a season high for the Beavers.
Mike Edwards led the Caltech scoring drive with a game high 18 points. Elmquist added a 17-point night while Cramer pitched in 14 points and a team high six assists and five rebounds.
Napolitano had a team high 17 points for La Verne.