The Cal Poly men’s basketball team won the Maui Jim Maui Invitational Regional Round tournament in Greeley, Colorado with a 78-65 win over Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) on Sunday.
The Mustangs (4-2), who defeated Austin Peay on Saturday night to advance to the tournament championship game, faced the Retrievers (1-4) for the first time in program history.
Senior forward Joel Awich led the team in scoring for the second game in a row with 18 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Ridge Shipley added in 15 points on 5-for-8 three-point shooting, and senior guard David Nwaba dished out a career-high eight assists for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs started sluggish, trailing 19-7 eight minutes into the game and allowing the Retrievers to shoot 70 percent from the field. Over the next seven minutes, the Mustangs ripped off a 15-4 run culminating in 23-22 lead for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly stayed hot for the final five minutes of the half and led 34-27 at the halftime buzzer.
The Mustangs maintained their momentum coming out of halftime and outscored the Retrievers 44-38 the rest of the game to win the championship.
The Mustangs shot 50 percent from the field, a staggering 55.6 percent from beyond the arc and outrebounded UMBC 39-28. All 10 Cal Poly players who saw action during the game recorded at least one point, a first for the Mustangs this season.
Cal Poly will attempt to extend its current three-game winning streak when the team returns to Mott Athletic Center for a three-game home stand. The Mustangs face off against University of Antelope Valley, an NAIA team, on Nov. 28 before taking on Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) and Fresno State on Dec. 3 and Dec 5.