Photo by Bob Paz
LA VERNE, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2016) – Freshman Brent Cahill (Laguna Beach, Calif. / Laguna Beach) led four Beavers in double figures in his most efficient game of the season but the Caltech men's basketball team could not overcome an early deficit and fell at the University of La Verne, 83-72, on Saturday afternoon.
Cahill netted a team-high 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting (2-for-3 from long range) and added five rebounds, three assists, one steal and a block while committing just one turnover. Over the past three games, the rookie is averaging 14.3 points on 53 percent shooting from the floor and 50 percent on three-pointers in 25.7 minutes per game.
The Leopards dominated the boards to the tune of a +20 rebound margin, assisted on 70 percent of their baskets and earned a whopping 41 trips to the free throw line as the Beavers succumbed to foul trouble midway through the first half.
Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger deviated from his usual starting lineup for the first time this season, with only junior Ricky Galliani (Menlo Park, Calif. / Sacred Heart Prep) retaining his starting spot as Caltech quickly fell into a 10-point hole. That margin held until the 11:28 mark, when the Beavers, facing an 11-point deficit, got a layup from sophomore David Kawashima (Studio City, Calif. / North Hollywood), and-one on a nice post move by junior David LeBaron (San Diego, Calif. / Francis Parker) and trailer three-pointer from Cahill in just 1:13 to make it a one-basket game.
La Verne stretched back out by as many as eight before Caltech trimmed the deficit to four at the half. Galliani immediately earned a trip to the line to open the second half and hit both free throws to pull within two, but the Beavers would get no closer as the hosts steadily extended the lead to a high of 22 before a late flurry cut it back to 10 just before the final whistle.
Galliani added 14 points while senior Kc Emezie (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge) moved into 11th place on the all-time program scoring list with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting. LeBaron rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10 points, although junior Lawrence Lee (Hong Kong / Hong Kong International School) chipped in nine (3-for-6) and Kawashima scored eight (4-for-8).
Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger and the Beavers cap the first round of the conference slate on Wednesday, Jan. 27 when they host Whittier College (8-7, 4-3) at 7:30 p.m.