ST. PAUL, Minn. – In the program's first ever visit to Minnesota, Caltech knocked off Macalester in a tightly played contest 71-65 on Monday evening in a non-conference men's basketball match-up.
The win lifts the Beavers record to 4-2 overall while the Mighty Macs fall to 0-8. It is the first time since the 1992-93 campaign a Caltech squad has won four of its first six games.
"After so many losses, especially close ones, it's nice to see we are starting to turn them into close wins," junior Pan Wang said. "It's great that we are continuing to develop as a team."
Dating back to the end of the 2010-11 season, eight of the last 15 games by Caltech have been decided by 10 or less points. After losing the first five in that string of eight games, the Beavers have posted three consecutive wins.
The first half featured 16 lead changes and six ties. The Beavers' largest lead of the first stanza came when Caltech held a five point lead at 33-28 with 4:52 left until halftime. That advantage culminated a Caltech 15-5 scoring run which took away the Might Macs largest lead of 23-18 with 8:26 remaining until the end of frame. A Todd Cramer jumper with two seconds left in the period gave the Beavers a 39-38 edge heading into the locker room.
During the second half Caltech never relinquished its lead. The Beavers built their lead to 57-49 after an Andrew Hogue three-pointer with 11:20 remaining in the contest. Scoring seven unanswered points, Macalester dwindled that eight point deficit down to one point at 57-56 with 8:42 left. However, that was as close as the home squad would get the rest of the way.
After Caltech built its advantage to 64-57 with 4:01 left, the Mighty Macs used one last push and got within 66-64 after Pierce Peters nailed Macalester's ninth three-pointer of the evening with 1:57 left. Michael Edwards missed a three-pointer on the Beavers next possession but Edwards immediately redeemed himself with a blocked shot on Macalester's attempt to tie the score.
Edwards hit two free throws on Caltech's next possession with 48 ticks left on the clock. A steal by Wang on the Mighty Macs ensuing possession all but sealed the win.
Caltech was stingy on offense all night as they turned the ball over a season low eight times while forcing the home squad into 18 as the Beavers held a 24-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Beavers' offense was led by Edwards' 22-point evening in 32 minutes of action. Todd Cramer pitched in his second double-double of the season with a 19-point, 10-assists performance. Wang registered a career best 12 points while playing a personal high 34 minutes.
Macalester was led by Peter's 28-point, 10-rebound contest.