Cal Poly Men’s Basketball fell in their first road matchup of the season to Loyola Marymount 76-52 on Saturday, Dec. 19.
The Mustangs (2-4) worked their way into a large hole early in the game which they were unable to climb out of, as the Lions (5-3) used stingy defense and strong shooting to pick up the victory.
Loyola opened up a 5-0 lead early in the game after a three-pointer by guard Dameane Douglas. Cal Poly scored their first points almost four minutes into the game through a three by sophomore guard Colby Rogers, who was playing in first game this season. Rogers was Cal Poly’s second leading scorer last year as a true freshman.
After a three-pointer from freshman forward Brantly Stevenson, Loyola went on an 8-0 run to give them a 23-10 lead with 10:05 left in the first half. Three minutes later, the Lions began another 15-3 run with the only scoring for the Mustangs coming on another three by Stevenson.
Freshman guard Camren Pierce hit a fadeaway jump shot to make the score 41-22 with 2:47 left in the half. The Lions maintained their 19-point lead heading into halftime.
Loyola played suffocating defense in the first half, forcing 13 turnovers from the Mustangs and holding them to just 38.1% shooting from the field. Stevenson paced the Mustangs at halftime with six points, while Douglas led the Lions in scoring with 11 points.
Cal Poly went on an 8-0 run early in the second half, with threes from Rogers and senior wing Mark Crowe. However, the Lions responded with an 8-0 run of their own restoring their lead to 21 points.
The Mustangs could not claw their way back into the game, as the two teams consistently traded baskets back and forth. The Lions’ lead reached as high as 29 points with 2:49 left, but Cal Poly closed the game with five free throws to make the score 76-52.
Pierce led the Mustangs with 10 points and also contributed three assists. Rogers recorded eight points and four steals in his first game back from injury, while Stevenson added eight points off the bench.
The Lions held the lead for the whole game, and the only time the game was tied was at 0-0. They won with efficient inside play, outrebounding Cal Poly 34-26 and recording 38 points in the paint including seven dunks.
Cal Poly will have eight days off before their next matchup, as they travel to Hawaii for the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, Dec. 27.