LOS ANGELES — On a night of celebration for head coach Brian Newhall in his 30th year as Oxy's head coach, the Tigers didn't disappoint.
Oxy got in front and held off a skilled and resilient Caltech squad for a 72-62 win at Rush Gymnasium on Saturday.
More than 70 players from all different generations and decades, who've gone on to very successful professional careers and personal lives, came back to surprise Coach Newhall with a halftime ceremony and post game reception.
Newhall is the winningest coach in Oxy history and has a 100 percent graduation rate in his 30 years at the helm of the program. His resume boasts multiple SCIAC Championships and NCAA Playoff appearances, along with a run to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight in 2003 and the only perfect 14-0 season in SCIAC history.
Newhall has not only coached at Oxy, but was a SCIAC Champion and SCIAC Player of the Year during his playing career at Oxy in the early 80s.
His current team made sure there would be a happy feeling for the post game party. Zach Baines scored a team-high 19 points, Austin DeWitz was one assist shy of a tripple double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Caleb Yellin-Flaherty went 7 for 10 for 15 points, three assists, two steals and eight rebounds. Jonny Crosthwaite had 11 points, Jacob Adler chipped in eight, and Ryan Kaneshiro had four points, seven rebounds and and three assists.
Oxy sweeps its season series with the Beavers at 3-0. The Tigers have beaten them twice in SCIAC play and once in the 110 Freeway Rivalry game.
The Beavers showed spurts of impressive outside shooting off of penetration, led by Marcus Gee who had a game-high 22 points, including five three-pointers. Noah Barnes hit two threes and finished with 14 points, and Gokul Srini had two threes and 11 points.
Oxy jumped out to big leads at the beginning of each half only to watch them dwindle all but away each time. Oxy led by double digits in the first half, finishing the period up by just four at 32-28, and was up as many as 19 in the second half before having that margin taken down to 65-60 with 4 minutes to go.
Baines hit a jumper on Oxy's next possession, then Yellin Flaherty had a layup in transition and then DeWitz finished a bucket after a Baines block and rebound, putting Oxy up enough to win mostly comfortably in the last 2 minutes.
Season Impact: Oxy improves to 16-3 overall and 7-3 in SCIAC play with six regular season games to go. Oxy is currently sitting in third place before the 7 p.m. round of SCIAC games, a half game ahead of Redlands and a half game behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Pomona-Pitzer is in first at 9-0.
Oxy is trying to make it back to the four-team SCIAC Postseason Tournament for the second year in a row.
The Beavers fall to 8-10 overall and 2-7 in SCIAC.
Next Game: Oxy has two important road games coming up. The Tigers play at Chapman on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and at Cal Lutheran on Saturday.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram