Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
PASADENA, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Basketball team failed to hold a seven-point halftime lead as Caltech came roaring back to put up 51 points in the second half en route to the 92-87 victory.
Whittier had a two-game winning streak coming into the game but couldn't extend it as they drop to 8-13, 5-7 SCIAC. The game included four ties and five lead changes. The largest lead was ten held by Whittier late in the first half. The win was the first for Caltech in over two weeks.
Five Poets reached double figures. Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.)finished with 19 points going 6-for-12 from the field in 23 minutes of action. He was also 4-for-5 from three-point territory. Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) added 12 points with three assists and Journey Shank (Burbank, Calif.)registered 11 points, which included a perfect 5-for-5 effort from the free-throw line. Other Poets in double figures included Jacob Aruta (Stockton, Calif.)and Ahmad Young (Sunnyvale, Calif.)who each added ten.
The game was back and forth in the early stages until Caltech strung together an 8-2 run that put them on top 18-11 at the 12:50 mark. Ryan Mendez (Whittier, Calif.)kept the Poets in it getting fouled taking a three-pointer but knocking down all three free-throws. Then after that, Whittier put together a 14-2 run, which included an and one from Longmire, back to back layups from Nolan Black (Olympia, WA) and a Shank lay-in.
Caltech got within one after a run of their own but over the final five minutes it was all Whittier with Potthoff and Longmire connecting from deep and Joey Toyama (Pasadena, Calif.)completing an and one that gave WC a 48-41 lead at intermission. The Beavers picked it up on the defensive end in the second half holding the Poets to just 39 points, while putting up 51 behind a 54.8% effort from the field, which included three Beavers reaching double figures.
Whittier got within one at 78-77 with 4:34 to play after a Kenyatta Louder (Compton, Calif.) free throw but after that CIT added six in a row that stretched the lead back to seven with 2:20 to play. With a last ditch effort, Longmire connected on a three-pointer that made it a two-point game with :33 seconds left but after that CIT would close the game out with a 6-3 run that gave them the home victory.
Whittier shot 48.3% from the field and 35.3% from behind the arc. They did however lose the battle inside getting outrebounded 38-29 and finishing tied in the paint 40-40. They did receive 48 points from the bench though and picked up 16 points off turnovers.
Whittier returns to the court this Wednesday, February 6 as they host Claremont-M-S beginning at 7:00pm.