PASADENA, CA – On three separate occasions Caltech fought back from a double figures deficit but couldn't quite overcome Whittier as they dropped an 86-72 decision on Wednesday evening.
After falling behind 27-12 just past the first period's halfway point, Caltech made a furious rally. During a 3:23 stretch a tenacious effort cut that 15-point hole down to just two points at 29-27. The Poets methodically grew their lead back as they went into the locker room up 44-35.
Caltech's offense showed aggressiveness during the opening 20 minutes as they drew numerous fouls while driving to the bucket. The Beavers connected on 15 of their 18 attempts from the charity stripe in the half. Andrew Hogue sparked the persistent charge by going 11-of-12 from the foul line.
The start of the second half went back-and-fourth for the first several minutes. The Beavers scored the first six points after the break but Whittier responded with five straight of their own as they increased their lead to 50-40. Undaunted, the Beavers capped off a six-point spurt with a Luke Lango lay-up with 14:43 remaining in the game. Once again, the pendulum swung back to the visitors as they scored seven straight to go in front 57-46.
A pesky Caltech squad put some of the momentum back on their side of the ledger with six straight points. A Hogue three-pointer completed that scoring spurt as the Beavers were down just 57-52 with 10:57 left. Whittier started to pull away from the Beavers over the next 4:47. The Poets scored 15 of the next 20 points to go ahead 73-58 with just over six minutes left.
Caltech continued to put a gutsy effort forth but couldn't get their deficit below double figures in the closing minutes.
The duo of Hogue and Kc Emezie each scored 20 points. It is the first time this season the Beavers had two players score at least 20 points in a game. Hogue corralled a game high 11 rebounds to post his second double-double of the season.
Caltech's 10 turnovers represented a season low.
A foursome of players led the Whittier scoring effort. Chris Barnes-Williams and Nick Demusis each scored 17 points while Eric Jennings and Tyree Landrum chipped in 16 apiece.