Caltech Posts Thrilling Win in Home Opener
PASADENA, Calif. – In a contest that featured 11 lead changes and seven ties, two clutch plays in the closing seconds proved to be the difference in a tightly played contest as Caltech pulled out a 63-62 win over Pacifica on Tuesday evening.
Post-Game Comments -- Michael Edwards, Bryan Joel
With 1:09 left in the game Bryan Joel gave Caltech (1-1) a one point edge at 61-60 by making the back end of two free throw attempts. Pacifica (0-4) grabbed the lead right back on their next possession with an Alex Brandon lay-up with 44 seconds left on the clock.
During the final Beaver possession a loose ball scramble with 14 seconds remaining heighten the game's tension. A double technical foul on a held ball while Caltech was calling a timeout gave the home squad the ball out of bounds. Caltech worked the ball down low to Alex Runkel after the timeout who found a cutting Ethan Boroson for what proved to be the game winning lay-up.
The Gladiators got the ball to their leading scorer Brandon on their final possession. The junior pulled up on the right side from 15 feet but his shot was deflected by Joel and Boroson grabbed the rebound as the buzzer went off.
Neither team held a lead larger than seven points the entire evening. That seven point Caltech spread came late in the first half. During the final 10 minutes of action, Pacifica held a four-point edge twice which proved to be the largest lead either team posted in the closing moments of the high pressure affair.
Caltech used their long distance threats to start the game. Michael Edwards converted three shots from beyond the arc while Joel knocked home two from three-point land during the contest's first five-plus minutes. Pacifica's first half offense was effective down low as they posted a 26-18 edge in points in the paint. The teams went into the locker room knotted at 36-36.
Edwards led the evening's scoring attack as the junior went for 28 points on the strength of a 6-for-12 shooting effort from beyond the arc. In his first career start, Joel recorded a 12-point effort while dishing out a game high six assists. Runkel provided a valuable spark in the post with his first career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).
Brandon had a team best 19 points to pace the Pacifica offense.