PASADENA, CA – Despite a solid effort from a trio of first-year players, Caltech fell to Whitman 87-73 on Wednesday evening in a men's basketball match-up.
A host of newcomers helped pace the Beavers a majority of the evening as five first-year players combined to score 53 points (73 percent of the scoring output). Luke Lango's game high 17-point evening led all scorers. Lango hit half of his 14 shot attempts in 39 minutes. Fellow first-year players Ricky Galliani and Lawrence Lee also tallied double figure nights. Galliani came off the bench to score 14 on the strength of three made three-pointers while Lee notched a 12-point performance in 23 minutes.
Unfortunately for the home team the Whitman offense was clicking early on. Whitman built a first half lead by jumping out to a quick start and hitting shots from behind the arc. The Missionaries held an 11-0 lead just over two minutes into the game. They held a 14-1 lead after a Phillip Chircu three-pointer with 17:13 left in the frame. However, Caltech clawed their way back.
The Beavers went on a 17-7 scoring spurt over the next 5:39 to close the gap to 21-18. Over the next five-plus minutes the Beavers kept their deficit at single digits but couldn't grab the lead. A 3:29 stretch just past the midway point in the half was crucial in deciding the outcome. Whitman grew a 30-25 advantage to 45-27 with 4:06 left during that time frame as they hit three shots from deep and went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. The visitors eventually took a 51-38 lead at intermission.
A major part in the Missionaries offense during the first 20 minutes was their three-point shot. Whitman hit seven of their first eight attempts from behind the arc as they built their advantage.
Caltech continued to fight in the second half but couldn't get their deficit under double figures. During one scoring push the Beavers dwindled down a 22-point disadvantage down to 14 with 7:40 left which caused the Missionaries to call a timeout. However, coming out of the timeout an 11-4 scoring spurt by Whitman all but sealed the game.
Whitman concluded the game by hitting 11 three-pointers and going 30-for-58 (51.7 percent) from the floor. Another deciding factor was Whitman holding a 17-6 edge in second chance opportunities.
Caltech recorded season highs in field goals made (27) and shooting percentage (50 percent). Their seven made three-pointers were also a season best.