COSTA MESA, Calif. – Vanguard overcame a four point halftime deficit to post a 78-63 win over Caltech in a non-conference men's basketball match-up on Saturday evening.
Looking to win their season opener for the first time in seven seasons, Caltech (0-1) built an early lead aided by four three-point shots. After Michael Edwards converted the Beavers fourth made shot from distance, Caltech held a 17-9 edge with 14:05 left until halftime. The Beavers never trailed the rest of the half but the Lions chipped away at their deficit.
After the Edwards three-pointer, Vanguard (3-2) proceeded to go on a 15-7 scoring spurt to tie the contest at 24-24 with 6:54 left in the opening frame. Ethan Boroson gave Caltech a six-point cushion at 36-30 with less than a minute remaining in the period. The Lions scored the final two points of the half on Christopher Raybon free throws with three seconds remaining as Caltech went into the locker room up 36-32.
The home squad started the final period by scoring seven of the half's first nine points as they took a 39-38 lead with 16:12 remaining. Bryan Joel put Caltech back in front on the Beavers next possession with a three-pointer. It was the final lead of the evening for the Beavers.
Vanguard proceeded to score 12 unanswered points as they went in front 51-41 with 12:01 left until the final buzzer. Caltech got their deficit down to 51-46 with five consecutive points from Joel. Although the Beavers kept their deficit at single digits over the next six-plus minutes a steady effort from the Lions wouldn't let Caltech get any closer.
Todd Cramer nailed a three-pointer with 4:45 left to cut Vanguard's lead, which grew as big as nine-points, to 59-53. However, Caltech couldn't grab anymore momentum as Vanguard scored on nine of their final 11 possessions to seal to victory.
Cramer scored a game and career high 24 points to pace the Beavers offense. The sophomore also dished out a contest high six assists. Edwards chipped in a 13-point effort on the strength of three made shots from behind the arc. In his first collegiate game, Joel came off the bench to post a 13-point evening.
The Vanguard trio of Taylor Kelly, Chris Pynch and Raybon each scored 14 points en route to the win.
Caltech's home opener is Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. against Pacifica.