The Cal Poly men’s basketball team kicked off Big West Conference play with a 65-56 loss on the road against UC Santa Barbara Jan. 9. The Mustangs (4-10, 0-1 Big West Conference) came into the game hobbling, having dropped five of their last six games. With the win, the Gauchos (12-3, 1-0) extended their winning streak to four games.
UC Santa Barbara rolled off a 11-2 lead within three minutes and were only halted by a Mustang defensive stand and a big three point play by Senior Guard Donovan Fields that got the Mustang’s offense going.
The Mustangs stuck around with the Gauchos after that and went into halftime trailing by eight points.
The Mustangs came out of halftime swinging and tied the game up 46-46 on a three-pointer by senior point guard Donovan Fields with only 10 minutes left in the game. Fields contributed a season-high eight assists and 19 points.
UC Santa Barbara then rattled off a 8-0 run and never looked back. The Gauchos held on to the lead for the 65-56 win.
Senior forward Kuba Nizol brought some needed offense off the bench with eight points, and 10 rebounds, five of which were offensive rebounds.
On Jan. 12 inside Mott Athletics Center, the Cal Poly Men’s Basketball team (4-11, 0-2) had their hopes for a first win in Big West Conference play in a 78-74 overtime loss to CSUN.
This was the fourth overtime game this season for the Matadors (8-10, 2-0). The Mustangs had won the last eight of nine home games versus CSUN.
From the start, the Mustangs struggled to keep up with the Matadors, falling 20 points behind within the first 10 minutes. In the first half, Cal Poly had four turnovers but were able to come within 11 points, down 38-27 to CSUN before halftime.
Cal Poly came back in the second half and tied the score 41-41 in the first three minutes off of a three-pointer by senior guard Marcellus Garrick.
Cal Poly used that momentum to gain a 51-41 lead off of five points from Fields, a tip-in from junior forward Hank Hollingsworth and a three point jump shot by senior forward Kuba Niziol.
Unfortunately the Mustangs were unable to hold their lead in the second half and the Matadors caught up to them with two minutes remaining to bring the score to 61-60.
With 38 seconds remaining in regulation, Hollingsworth tied the game at 62-62.
With two minutes left in overtime, the Mustangs were up 71-70, but a foul by sophomore wing Mark Crowe set the mustangs down by one, 72-71.
The Mustangs were unable to hold a lead on CSUN for the remainder of overtime, falling behind 76-71 with 32 seconds remaining. With 15 seconds left, Fields’ three-pointer brought the Mustangs within three at 76-74.
Cal Poly fouled twice with 10 seconds left, and CSUN took the win 78-74.
Fields tied his career high with 30 points and accomplished a new career high when he scored five out of 10 three-pointers. Holding the team-high at 11 double-digit games this season, Fields surpassed the 1,000 point mark for his career.
Cal Poly will hit the road this weekend on Saturday, January 18th to take on regular season champion UC Davis.