|Caltech won five games, four against Division III
teams and one in the SCIAC for what can only be considered a banner
Caltech athletics photo
Caltech has started and ended a few long streaks over the past decade.
Jan. 7, 2007: Caltech def. Bard, ends 59-game overall losing streak
Dec. 10. 2010: Caltech posts first winning streak since 1998
Feb. 22, 2011: Caltech ends conference losing streak
For the first time since Jan. 23, 1985, the Caltech men's basketball team posted a win in a conference game. On Tuesday evening the Beavers beat Occidental 46-45 at the Braun Athletic Center.
It was the first SCIAC win for the Caltech program since they beat La Verne 48-47, 26 years ago. Caltech (5-20, 1-13) had lost its previous 310 SCIAC games.
"Tonight's win is a testament to the hard work each member of this team, the alumni and the supporters have put into this program. I hope that everyone who has participated in Caltech men's basketball is able to celebrate a little bit tonight," third-year head coach Oliver Eslinger said. "We still have goals and aspirations that we want to accomplish as a program and this win is another step towards meeting these objectives." More of Eslinger's postgame comments.
The game-clinching point came when Ryan Elmquist hit the first of two free throws with three seconds left. A desperation shot from behind half court didn't connect for Occidental (12-13, 6-8).
Caltech trailed by as many as eight points on three separate occasions, including with 4:33 to go in the game, when Jake Copithorne hit a layup to put the Tigers up 45-37. But the Beavers scored the last nine points to rally for the victory.
Mike Edwards hit a jumper with 4:18 left to cut the lead to six. After Sam Stapleton missed a 3-pointer, Elmquist completed a traditional three-point play to make the Occidental lead 45-42. Elmquist was later fouled on a putback attempt and hit both free throws to cut the lead to one. Then, following a Copithorne turnover, Occidental's Ty Cobb fouled Elmquist and he made one of two free throws to tie the game.
Jack Hanley missed a layup that would have given Occidental the lead back, and, after a pair of timeouts, the Beavers missed a pair of shots, Mike Edwards got two crucial rebounds. Elmquist was fouled in the act of shooting and went back to the line, where he sunk the first shot and missed the second.
Elmquist finished with a game-high 23 points, including 15-for-19 shooting from the foul line.