Cal Poly men’s basketball continued their longest road trip of the season with a 64-55 loss to the California Baptist Lancers on Thursday, Dec. 2 at the CBU Events Center in Riverside.
After starting the season with a 33-point win, the Mustangs (2-5) have lost five of their last six games, while the Lancers (7-1) won their second straight to continue their solid start to the season.
Despite the underwhelming performance of leading scorer junior Alimamy Koroma, who logged just three minutes in the first half of the contest, the Mustangs kept the game close to start, as the two squads were tied at 13 after seven minutes.
However, with 13 minutes to go in the half, Cal Baptist went on a 17-6 run that lasted six minutes and gave the Lancers a 30-19 lead. At 11 points, it was the largest lead of the night for either team. Almost immediately, however, Cal Poly responded with a 13-3 run of their own (including an 8-0 stretch) to finish the half, bringing the score to 33-32 going into the break.
As the second half began, it seemed like the Mustangs were poised to run away with the game, as they quickly opened the half with a score to take the lead. Over the next 10 minutes, Cal Poly was able to find ways to score and had gained a 46-41 advantage with 9:15 to go in the matchup. However, following a clutch three-pointer by Lancers guard Ty Rowell and a three-point play by guard Taran Armstrong, Cal Baptist took the 49-48 lead with 7:14 to go.
Cal Poly wasn’t quite finished, though. With 6:16 left, graduate guard Jacob Davison was fouled and stepped to the free throw line with a chance to make it just a one-point game. However, Davison missed both of his attempts and the Lancers would hold the lead for the remainder of the game.
Despite the loss, the Mustangs were the better shooting team from the field, going 42% (23-55) compared to Cal Baptist’s 39% (22-56). However, the Mustangs shot 33% (5-15) from deep compared to the Lancers’ 39% (7-18), and shot just 36% (4-11) from the stripe against 76% (13-17) from Cal Baptist.
Cal Poly will look to bounce back when they visit San Diego on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion.