THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Fans at the 2012 SCIAC classic were treated to a pair of nail-biters on the first day of the tournament hosted by Cal Lutheran and Caltech. In the first game, fans saw UPS overcome a 14 point deficit to rally in the final minutes to upend Cal Lutheran 63-61. The night-cap was very much the same as UC Santa Cruz also trailed in the first half before retaking the lead and hanging on in the final minutes as they defeated Caltech 68-63.
Game 1: CLU vs. UPS
It was a tale of two halves as Puget Sound trailed by as many as 14 in the first half but rallied in the closing minutes for 63-61 victory over Cal Lutheran Saturday afternoon in the first game of the SCIAC Classic.
Cal Lutheran shot nearly 60 percent from the field in the first half as they climbed out to a 38-25 lead at the intermission. CLU forward Jeremy Sulker-Hall had 10 points through the first nine minutes before getting two quick fouls and sitting out the rest of the half. No matter, the Kingsmen pushed their lead to 14 after back-to-back lay ups from Nettles and Davis made the score 33-19 with 7:28 left. The teams would go back-and-forth as Cal Lutheran would go into the locker with a 13 point lead.
However, the second half was a different story.
After trailing the entire game, UPS took their first lead at 47-45 on a three-pointer from Kohl Meyer with 11:06 left.
Cal Lutheran would come up empty on the following possession but Jayvaughn Nettles would provide a highlight-reel block on a Logger shot that caromed right to Steven Davis who raced down the court and hit a contested lay-up. However, Davis was unable to convert the and-one but knotted the game up at 47-47.
The teams would go on to have six lead changes for the next seven minutes with no team leading by more than five.
Rex Holmes drove to the basket and sunk a lay-up to put UPS up 61-59 with a one minute and fifty seconds left in the game.
After causing a UPS turnover, Dan Wade pulled CLU even at 61-61 with 30 seconds left after hitting a runner.
Left with the final possession of the game, UPS made it count as Riggs Yarbro hit a turn-around jumper from just in front of the free-throw line, giving the Loggers a 63-61 lead. Cal Lutheran tried a desperation three but to no avail as the Loggers triumphed with a 63-61 victory.
Yarbo led all scorers with 20 points and seven rebounds. Rex Holmes was the other Logger in double-figures, pouring in 15 points. UPS dominated the glass, outrebounding the Kingsmen 50-29.
Nettles was the leading scorer for CLU with 15 points. Sulker-Hall had 14 and Wade had 11.
With the win UPS improves to 3-5 while Cal Lutheran drops to 3-6. Both teams will be in action tomorrow for the final day of the SCIAC Classic. CLU plays UC Santa Cruz at 1:00 p.m. while Puget Sound plays in the night-cap against Caltech at 3:00 p.m. Both games will be played at Caltech.
Game 2 Caltech vs. UC Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz trailed in the first half before rallying in the second before hitting four straight free-throws in the final seconds to get past a pesky Caltech team, 68-63.
Poor free-throw shooting actually plagued the Banana Slugs earlier in the second half where at one point they missed seven straight free-throws. Caltech capitalized thanks to a three from Andrew Hogue and two straight baskets from Michael Edwards brought Caltech to within two at 63-61 with 56 seconds left to play.
However, James Townsend would atone for missing earlier free-throws as he hit two straight with six seconds left to ice the win.
Trent Reeves scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half to pace the Banana Slugs. Zach Smith chipped in with 11 and Jared Ponce rounded out the UC Santa Cruz scorers in double-figures with 10.
Caltech was led by the one-two punch of Edwards and Hogue, who combined for 46 points. Edwards finished with 24 points and Hogue ended with 22 points on seven of thirteen shooting including four three-pointers.
With the win, UC Santa Cruz improves to 3-8 and Caltech drops to 0-9. Both teams resume play tomorrow when the Banana Slugs face Cal Lutheran at 1:00 p.m. and Caltech goes up against Puget Sound at 3:00 p.m.