LOS ANGELES, Calif. – After a slow start the Caltech men's basketball finished strong en route to a 69-53 win over the University of Dallas on Sunday afternoon at Occidental College. The game was a part of the final day of the Caltech/Occidental Thanksgiving Classic.
Caltech's two wins in their first four games marks the best four-game start to a season since the 1997-98 season for the Beavers.
"The second half was an all-around much better effort," sophomore Todd Cramer said. "We came out sluggish in the opening moments and we dug ourselves a hole. We regrouped well at halftime and played with much more fire and intensity to close the game."
The opening half was a low scoring frame as neither team found their shooting touch. Caltech went 5-for-28 (17.9 percent) from the floor while the Crusaders connected on just 28 percent (7-of-25) of their field goal attempts.
The University of Dallas went out in front by scoring the first nine points of the game. The Crusaders eventually built their lead to 19-9 with just over five minutes left in the first stanza. However, the Beavers slowly chipped away at their deficit and found themselves down 20-17 on a Collin Murphy lay-up with 1:12 left until halftime. Joe Stephens scored the last points of the half on a lay-up as the Crusaders went into the locker room up 22-17.
Caltech started the second frame on a 7-2 scoring spurt to tied the contest at 24-24 with 17:30 left in regulation. The Beavers took their first lead of the game at 34-33 with 11:53 remaining.
A Bryan Joel running jumper with 7:07 left grew Caltech's advantage to 51-45 forcing a University of Dallas full timeout. The Beavers continued their momentum and built their lead to 59-50 with 3:34 remaining on a back door lay-up as Pan Wang found a streaking Andrew Hogue for two. Wang drew a charge on the Crusaders next possession then the Beavers all but sealed the game with an Edwards lay-up with 2:37 left.
During the second half, the Beavers tripled their shooting efficiency by connecting on 17 of their 30 field goal (56.7 percent) attempts during the final 20 minutes of action.
Michael Edwards posted his third straight 20-plus point effort with a game high 21 points. Cramer recorded a 16-point, 12-rebound effort for his first double-double of the season after recording five last season. The sophomore also dished out a game best seven assists. Bryan Joel came off the bench to chip-in a 15-point performance.