The University of Redlands men's basketball team returned unscathed from Pasadena after an overtime thriller against the Beavers of Caltech, a team that sits in prime position to halt its multi-decade Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) losing streak during the 2011 season. Relying on a 45.0% shooting display, including a 58.3% performance from long range, Redlands captured the hard-fought 71-67 victory with senior forward Andrew Mills (Newcastle, WA) leading the charge with 14 points to tie his career-high.
With 9:35 remaining in the second half, the Bulldogs held on to their largest lead of the stanza at 53-46. However, the Beavers clawed their way back with a 10-5 run that cut the deficit to two.
A pivotal play came with 1:03 left in the period when senior center Jordan Sanvictores (Redwood City, CA) was sent to the line to shoot two for the Bulldogs. After knocking down the first, he received the ball to take the second, but teammate sophomore guard Tristan Kirk (Redlands, CA) entered the court too late, resulting in a technical foul.
Caltech's sophomore guard Mike Edwards (Canyon Country, CA) converted his ensuing chances at the charity stripe and the Beavers gained possession of the ball, down by one at 58-59.
On the next play, Redlands was called for a foul, sending senior forward Ryan Elmquist (Woodbury, MN) to the line. But the 74.7% free-throw shooter missed both and Sanvictores nabbed one of his six offensive rebounds with 45 seconds left on the clock.
Following a Maroon and Gray timeout and a missed Bulldog layup, Redlands maintained possession on an offensive team rebound.
Another timeout allowed Head Coach Jim Ducey to draw up an important play for the Bulldogs. However, a little help from the officials sent sophomore guard Brian Kuklok (Poway, CA) to the line with 12 seconds on the clock. He knocked down both shots, making it a 61-58 ball game.
With six seconds to go, Caltech decided to talk it over with a timeout. After a quick inbounds pass, Edwards missed the tying three-pointer but the ball ended up in the hands of freshman guard Todd Cramer (Ambler, PA), who drained the three with one second on the clock, resulting in an extra period.
Refusing to go down against the Beavers, Redlands dominated the final five minutes, shooting 50.0% from the field and never trailing. Senior guard Kent Ervin (Bend, OR) and senior forward Matt Dietrich (Phoenix, AZ) each nailed a long-range basket, which led to the 71-67 victory.
Mills finished with a double-double, scoring a team-leading 14 points while grabbing 10 boards. Sanvictores chipped in 13 points and came up with a game-high 14 rebounds. Kuklok also provided 13 points, hitting three of his five shots from beyond the arc.
The Maroon and Gray bench accounted for 32 of the team's points.
Caltech (4-9, 0-2) gained a game-high 28 points from Edwards, who shot 10-for-20. Standout player Elmquist was held to 13 points after putting up 17.8 points per game so far this season. Cramer nearly collected a triple-double, providing 11 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
Redlands (5-8, 2-0 SCIAC) is one of three programs with an undefeated SCIAC mark, tying Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges and Pomona-Pitzer Colleges. The Bulldogs next head to Occidental College for Saturday's conference match-up against the Tigers, who have lost their first two SCIAC outings.