PASADENA, Calif. - Playing on the road for the first time in nearly a month, the Cal Lutheran men's basketball team returned to the site of its last road win, the Braun Gymnasium at Caltech, where tonight facing a feisty Beavers squad in their home gym, the Kingsmen continued their winning ways in 2013-14 with a 77-53 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) victory.
CLU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, forcing a timeout in the first minute of action before opening the gap to 13-6 five minutes into the contest. At the second media break the Kingsmen led by double figures at 17-7. Three consecutive fast-break layups from Dan Wade, Arik Smith and Coltrane Powdrill pushed the lead to 23-7, prompting Caltech head coach Oliver Eslinger to burn another pair of timeouts within a minute of one another. Cal Lutheran continued to control the momentum and cruised to a 36-17 halftime lead.
Caltech came out of the intermission fired up and got the crowd involved, scoring and drawing numerous fouls as the Beavers closed their deficit to 14 on a trio of free-throws from Nasser Al-Rayes at the 15:22 mark of the second stanza, but the Kingsmen continued to produce offensively and fended off the home team. The largest differential of the game came by way of a Martin Flowers layup with just over three minutes in regulation for a 26-point advantage.
Overall, Cal Lutheran combined to shoot 52.9 percent from the field, limiting the Beavers to a 29.3 percent shooting night. Each team came away with 39 rebounds, though CIT edged CLU offensively 18-10.
Sixteen different CLU players saw action in the game tonight with 13 notching at least one point and another baker's dozen grabbing one or more rebounds. Smith shared a game-high with 16 points, on 6-for-7 shooting, while Powdrill and Jeremy Sulker-Hall also reach double figures with 11 and 10 points apiece, respectively. Powdrill and Wade each handed out three assists tonight to lead the Violet and Gold.
Defensively, Corey Quintana grabbed a game-leading 11 rebounds for the Kingsmen and chipped in with seven points and a pair of blocks. Also tallying more than one block was Powdrill who finished with four to pace a group that recorded 12 as a team. Sulker-Hall made a run at a double-double with seven boards tonight and had two steals, the most on the team.
Caltech (3-11, 0-5 SCIAC) was led by 16 points from Luke Lango who also provided three assists and four steals. Al-Rayes chipped in with 11 points and a block and David LeBaron and Lawrence Lee each scored eight. At the defensive end of the court, Nick Buoniconti contributed three blocks and Andrew Hogue had a team-leading seven rebounds.
Cal Lutheran (12-2, 3-2 SCIAC) is on the road for a Wednesday showdown with the Stags at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Jan. 15. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.