Mustang News Staff Report
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The Cal Poly men’s basketball team (2-2) was unable to pull off an upset Wednesday night against Pac-12 Conference program California (4-1), falling 72-52.
After becoming a nuisance to Pac-12 teams the last few years — defeating UCLA two years ago and nearly knocking off No. 5 Arizona last year — the Mustangs relished the opportunity to defeat the Golden Bears. Though the matchup heavily favored California, the Mustangs were down by only three points with 12 minutes left in the game.
But in those last 12 minutes, the Golden Bears were able to pull away, making the score look a bit more one-sided. They ended the game on a 34-17 run.
Heading into the contest, Cal Poly led Division I with just 6.3 turnovers per game. Despite just five on Wednesday, the Mustangs were still unable to prevail thanks to three Golden Bears dropping 16 points or more. The Mustangs were led by junior forward Brian Bennett, who contributed 16 points and six rebounds. Junior guard David Nwaba also hit double digits with 14 points and five rebounds.
All together, Cal Poly was able to muster just seven assists, 10 less than its opponent. The Mustangs also shot just 34 percent from the floor and 25 percent from 3-point range. Junior forward Joel Awich and sophomore guard Ridge Shipley – coming off a career-high 21 points in his last outing — combined to go 2-18 from the field with just five points between them.
Still, the Mustangs have started the regular season strong, losing to two respectable programs and knocking off a Delaware squad which went to the NCAA tournament last year.
Cal Poly will continue its month of traveling — which includes eight out of its next nine games on the road — at Saint Mary’s on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.