The Cal Poly men’s basketball team had their lowest scoring output of the season Wednesday night as the Mustangs fell 57-45 to Hawaii. The Mustangs trailed the Warriors from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
They defeated UC Santa Barbara after Luke Meikle made three free throws in the final second of the game to open Big West play. The Mustangs have now dropped two games in a row and sit at 1-2 against conference foes.
Soon after the opening tip Hawaii jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Hawaii’s senior forward Gibson Johnson contributed five points during the run, scoring first on a quick lay-up and then splashing in a three-pointer moments later.
The Mustangs were able to tie the game twice at 21-21 and 23-23 in the first half but never managed to take the lead. The first tie came after senior guard Victor Joseph completed a three-point play after drawing a foul, and the second came after a lay-up by junior guard Donovan Fields.
With 11:30 left to play in the game, the Mustangs went on a quick 7-0 run to shrink the Warriors’ lead to four at 39-35. The Warriors’ defense clamped down, and the Mustangs failed to get any closer to securing the lead for the rest of the game.
Cal Poly could not get their offense going as they only shot 3-19 (15.8 percent) from beyond the arc after draining 19 deep balls against Cal State Fullerton their last game. Poor shooting (18-56 from the field) led to the Mustangs’ season-low 45 points.
Although the Mustangs had fewer turnovers and more points in the paint than Hawaii and outscored the Warriors bench 22-3, it was not enough to secure the win.
Cal Poly’s three guards: Joseph, Fields and junior guard Marcellus Garrick were the only offensive bright spots for Cal Poly. Joseph was the only Mustang to score double figures with 11 points, but Garrick was not far behind him with nine points on 6-11 shooting. Fields contributed eight points.
Garrick also pulled down six rebounds, which tied with redshirt junior Josh Martin for the team lead Wednesday night. The Mustangs have an eight-game break before returning to
Big West action.
Their next two games will be televised nationally on ESPN 3. The first at UC Irvine Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. and the second at home against Cal State Northridge Saturday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.