Caltech Rallies Past Bearcats, 58-55

Brown, Manu, and Luedtke Reach Double Figures for Willamette

By Timothy Walsh, Athletics Communications Writer

PASADENA, CALIF. -- Despite trailing by 12 points with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game, the California Institute of Technology rallied from a 12-point second half deficit to defeat Willamette University 58-55 on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Braun Athletic Center.

Caltech earned its first season opening win since 2004 and its first season-opening win against an NCAA opponent since 1948. Willamette fell to 0-1 on the year.

Kc Emezie led the Beavers with 18 points on 7 of 9 shooting, including 2 for 3 on 3-point shots. Luke Lango added 13 points for a youthful Caltech team that consisted of 11 freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors, and no seniors.

Two Caltech players reached double figures in rebounds, as the Beavers outrebounded Willamette 50-33. Andrew Hogue led all players with 13 boards, while Laurence Lee contributed 11.

Alex Brown (Jr., F, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) topped the Bearcats with 14 points. Avery Manu (Sr., W, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS) provided WU with 12 points, and Brandon Luedtke (So., F, Meridian, ID/Mt. View HS) scored 10 points while also nabbing seven rebounds.

Willamette scored the game's first basket on a layup by Manu, and looked ready to pull away from Caltech several times in the first half. Another Manu layup gave the Bearcats a 19-9 lead with 9:39 remaining in the period, but Willamette's shooting went cold and the Beavers closed the first half on a 14-6 run.

At halftime, Willamette led 25-23.

The Bearcats extended their advantage to 43-31 when Brown put in a layup at the 12:32 mark. Over the next six minutes, however, Caltech tore off a 20-2 run, seizing a 51-45 lead on Bryan Joel's three-pointer. The Beavers never trailed the rest of the game.

Willamette did have several chances to tie or retake the lead over the remainder of the game, but was unable to capitalize.

With eight seconds left, the Bearcats caught a break when Lango missed a free throw attempt that would have sealed the game, but a 3-pointer by Talanoa Smith (Jr., G, Pago Pago, American Samoa/Tafuna HS) clanged off the rim and the Beavers grabbed the rebound.

Willamette shot 35.1% (20 of 57) from the field during the game, and connected on just 2 of 12 three point attempts (16.7%). The Bearcats did hit 68.4% of their free throw attempts (13-19), including an excellent 10 of 12 (83.3%) in the second half.

Caltech connected on 40.7% of its shots (24 of 59), including 15 of 31 (48.7%) in the second half, but Willamette limited Caltech to just 4 of 20 shooting from beyond the arc (20.0%). The Beavers were 6 of 12 (50.0%) from the foul line.

The Bearcats will play again on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the University of La Verne. Game time in La Verne, Calif., is set for 7 p.m. (PST).


California Institute of Tech. 58
Willamette University 55

Sophomore Brandon Luedtke scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Willamette's loss to Caltech.

Sophomore Brandon Luedtke scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Willamette's loss to Caltech.