Photo by Bob Paz
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (Dec. 16, 2015) – Sophomore David Kawashima (Studio City, Calif. / North Hollywood) and freshman Brent Cahill (Laguna Beach, Calif. / St. Margaret's) provided a much-needed spark off the bench as the Caltech men's basketball team struggled to find its shot in a 71-59 defeat at UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday afternoon.
Caltech jumped out to a 7-0 lead but the Banana Slugs rallied to lead by five at halftime and held on to improve to 3-8 this season, while the Beavers drop to 2-5. The Beavers shot below 40 percent from the field and 25 percent beyond the arc for the fourth straight game and were uncharacteristically outrebounded, 43-33.
Senior Kc Emezie (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge) staked the Beavers to an early 15-7 lead with seven points, but a 6:30 scoreless stretch allowed UCSC to surge ahead, 21-15. The teams traded baskets up to halftime at 31-26 but Caltech came back early in the second to make it a three-point game after five minutes. The Banana Slugs stretched back ahead by two possessions before junior Lawrence Lee (Hong Kong / Hong Kong International School) hit a jumper to bring the Beavers within two at 41-39, but the hosts rattled off an 11-2 run and held the double-digit margin through the final whistle.
Kawashima and Cahill combined for 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting in 39 minutes of action, with Cahill going 1-for-2 from long range and Kawashima adding three steals. Emezie had his most efficient game since falling ill before the third contest of the season, shooting 4-for-8 (2-for-3 on three-pointers) for 10 points. Junior Ricky Galliani (Menlo Park, Calif. / Sacred Heart Prep) filled out the box score with eight points, 10 rebounds, six steals, two blocks and an assist while junior David LeBaron (San Diego, Calif. / Francis Parker) chipped in seven points, six rebounds and four assists without committing a single turnover. Junior Nasser Al-Rayes (Doha, Qatar / American School of Doha) led the team with 13 points to go with four boards, two assists and two blocks.
Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger and the Beavers host George Fox University (2-6) on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2:00 p.m.