PASADENA, Calif. (Nov. 25, 2015) – Junior Ricky Galliani (Menlo Park, Calif. / Sacred Heart Prep) posted his first career double-double in the Caltech men's basketball home opener against Linfield College on Wednesday night.
The Beavers tied a program record with 19 offensive rebounds as they posted an incredible +29 margin over the Wildcats, but an exorbitant 27 turnovers to Linfield's mere four led to the visitors' 65-55 victory. Linfield improves to 3-0 on the season while Caltech dips to 1-3.
Neither team led by more than three points until the final five minutes of the first half, when Caltech surged ahead 28-21 thanks to three free throws from freshman Brent Cahill (Laguna Beach, Calif. / Laguna Beach) and a trey from Galliani. Caltech soon extended the margin to seven and nearly held that at halftime, but a buzzer-beating tip-in pulled Linfield back within five at the break, 36-31.
Linfield turned up the intensity with a tighter full court press in the second half to hold Caltech scoreless over the first five minutes, over which span the Wildcats took a two-point lead. The Beavers could not keep pace as the Wildcats would earn an extra 15 shots thanks to 19 forced turnovers and soon fell behind by five at 48-43. Junior Nasser Al-Rayes (Doha, Qatar / American School of Doha) and Galliani made it a one-basket game on two occasions, but Linfield continued to force turnovers and convert at the other end to build up a game-high 12-point lead with 2:26 remaining before the final whistle blew.
Galliani went off for 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting (3-of-6 from three) and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the team. Senior Kc Emezie (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge) chipped in 10 points while Al-Rayes and Lee grabbed 11 and 10 boards, respectively. Al-Rayes rounded out his line with five blocks, two steals and one assist.
Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger and the Beavers host Sarah Lawrence College (1-2) on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m.