Cal Poly men’s basketball narrowly fell in a 75-72 overtime loss to Nicholls State on Monday, Nov. 22 in the SoCal Challenge Sand Bracket opener inside JSerra Pavilion in San Juan Capistrano, Ca.  

The Mustangs (1-4) led by 11 points in the second half before the Colonels (4-2) ultimately came out with the victory.

The majority of the first half was back-and-forth as the two teams were tied at 17-17 with 6:38 remaining. However, the Mustangs went on a 10-2 run to push ahead to a 27-19 lead before a jumper by Colonel guard Spencer Pierce ended the half with the Mustangs leading 27-21. 

The Mustangs continued their late first-half momentum and extended their lead early in the second half to 35-24. However, that momentum quickly shifted as the Colonels scored 17 unanswered points to give them a 41-35 lead with 13:32 remaining in the game. 

Nicholls State held onto their tight lead for the majority of the rest of regulation, but a made free throw by sophomore point guard Camren Pierce tied the game at 62-62 with 19 seconds remaining. Neither team scored in the closing seconds as the Mustangs entered their first overtime game of the young season. 

Neither team got a comfortable lead in overtime, but Cal Poly led 72-70 with 55 seconds remaining after sophomore forward Kyle Colvin knocked down one of two free throws. 

However, Colonel guard Jalen White made a three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining and Spencer Pierce made two free throws in the closing seconds to give the Colonels the 75-72 victory. 

Cal Poly had one of their better offensive performances this season, as four Mustangs tallied double-digit points, including junior forward Alimamy Koroma, who finished with a career-best 23 points. However, the Mustangs struggled from the free-throw line as they shot 61.3% on 19-31 shooting. 

After starting their season with a win, the Mustangs have now dropped three of their last four matches by three points or less. 

Cal Poly will look to bounce back and close out the SoCal Challenge when they play either Idaho or Utah Valley on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at noon inside the JSerra Pavilion in San Juan Capistrano, Ca.

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