FOREST GROVE, Ore. (Nov. 23, 2014) – Junior Kc Emezie (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge) scored in double figures for the fourth straight game and senior Andrew Hogue (Arroyo Grande, Calif. / Arroyo Grande) just missed a double-double as the Caltech men's basketball team closed out its Portland trip at Pacific University on Sunday afternoon.
An uncharacteristically poor shooting night and second consecutive major free throw discrepancy left the Beavers with too much to overcome as the Boxers won, 56-47, to improve to 1-2 while the Beavers drop to 0-4. Caltech shot a meager 9.1 percent from beyond the arc and was afforded nearly one-third as many opportunities at the free throw line (11-31), negating an otherwise solid team performance.
"We put up a great fight in a game where our shots just weren't falling today," Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger said. "We played better defensively than we had this season, and worked on some good execution in pressure situations, which gave us a chance despite the cold shooting."
Entering the game shooting 48.6 percent from the field as a team, the Beavers went just 1-of-13 over the first seven minutes to allow the Boxers to take an early 16-2 lead. Caltech slowly chipped away at the deficit, finally pulling within four points by halftime on a late three-pointer by senior Bryan Joel (Bethesda, Md. / Walt Whitman).
Caltech built on its momentum coming out of the break and just two minutes in, sophomore Nasser Al-Rayes (Doha, Qatar / American School of Doha) tied things up at 28-28 on a layup. A 9-2 run put Pacific comfortably ahead once more, but the Beavers fought back and took the lead at 42-41 on a Hogue layup with seven minutes remaining.
The earlier shooting woes would come back to haunt the Beavers, however. After Emezie leveled the game at 47-47 with 3:43 left to play, the Beavers went stone cold, failing to score another point while Pacific hit nine free throws to make the difference.
Emezie led the Beavers with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while Hogue managed 10 points and nine rebounds to go with three steals. Al-Rayes added six points, eight rebounds and three blocks and sophomore Lawrence Lee (Hong Kong / Hong Kong International School) contributed four points, five rebounds and two assists in just 13 minutes.
"I'm very proud of how the team fared on this trip," Eslinger said. "We had some lengthy leads over some good teams in a great conference on the road over three straight days."
Eslinger and the Beavers will return to Southern California to host Whitworth University (1-2) on Saturday Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. The game will be available online via live video stream and Live stats, both which can be accessed through the team's schedule page at GoCaltech.com.