It was the first victory for the Division III Beavers since beating the University of La Verne 48-47 on Jan. 23, 1985, a span of 310 games in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
"Tonight's win is a testament to the hard work each member of this team, the alumni and the supporters have put into this program," third-year coach Oliver Eslinger said in a statement released by the school. "I hope that everyone who has participated in Caltech men's basketball is able to celebrate a little tonight."
Ryan Elmquist led Caltech (5-20, 1-13) with 23 points and nine rebounds. It was Elmquist's free throw with 3 seconds left that was the difference in knocking off Occidental (12-13, 6-8).
Caltech is a world-renowned private research university known more for its accomplishments in science and engineering than jump shots and back cuts. Despite its small size -- the school enrolls approximately 950 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students and employs about 300 professorial faculty -- Caltech has produced 31 Nobel Prize winners.
The Beavers finished the season 5-20, their best record in 15 years.
Back in 2007, Caltech ended an NCAA-record 207-game losing streak.
- (By Glenn Davis, SportsGrid) - VIDEO: Caltech Breaks 26-Year Conference Losing Streak, Fans Storm Court