PASADENA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2015) – Senior Bryan Joel (Bethesda, Md. / Walt Whitman) continued his recent hot streak with his fifth game scoring in double figures this season as the Caltech men's basketball team hosted SCIAC scoring leader Tyler Gaffaney and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Thursday night.
Caltech held CMS below 60 points for just the second time this year and 10 percentage points below its season average but suffered through a cold shooting night to fall, 58-33. CMS improves to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the SCIAC while Caltech is now1-10 (0-2).
"I really loved our effort tonight," Head Coach Oliver Eslinger said. "Our team is feeling good. We're very happy with our defense - we're just the second team to hold CMS under 60 points, we forced some turnovers and played physical. Every night is tough in-conference, and this is a three-game week, but we are prepared after playing three straight in Oregon and Spain."
The Beavers hung with the Stags in the early going, as sophomore Ricky Galliani (Menlo Park, Calif. / Sacred Heart Prep) got things started with a three-pointer and Caltech stayed within a basket through the opening 10 minutes. A six-minute scoring drought saw the Beavers fall behind 20-9, however, and the score line read 29-14 at halftime.
Sophomore Nasser Al-Rayes (Doha, Qatar / American School of Doha) converted a three-point play for the Beavers' first basket of the second half at the 15:45 mark, but CMS slowly stretched out the margin and soon led by 25 at 48-23 with 8:36 remaining. Caltech scored seven unanswered points over the next three minutes, but back-to-back three-point plays swung the momentum back in the Stags' favor and the visitors held on through the final whistle.
Joel scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting (2-of-5 from long range) and Al-Rayes chipped in nine points, while senior Andrew Hogue (Arroyo Grande, Calif. / Arroyo Grande) topped the squad with six rebounds. Freshman David Kawashima (Studio City, Calif. / North Hollywood) impressed in a late cameo, grabbing two offensive boards and three total while making a pair of steals in just seven minutes.
"Joel and Ricky are very consistent, both mentally and physically, and that is really leading us," Eslinger said. "Big Nas is focused and continuing to improve, which is a huge help underneath. DK was able to show what we've known for a while now, that he's unique, both creative and skilled, which has really been showing in practice lately."
Eslinger and the Beavers will head east to take on the University of Redlands on Saturday, Jan. 10.