Credit: Eyasu Betwos | Mustang News

Cal Poly men’s basketball fell to UC Irvine 72-48 on Saturday, Jan. 29 inside Bren Events Center.

The Mustangs (5-13, 2-5 Big West) couldn’t build off of a win earlier in the week while the Anteaters (8-7, 3-3 Big West) have now won back-to-back games.

The teams exchanged leads at the start of the game, but at the 14-minute mark in the first half UC Irvine went on a 16-3 run to take a commanding 22-9 lead.

Cal Poly responded by cutting the lead back to eight after junior big man Alimamy Koroma finished an and-one and scored in the paint on the next possession. However, the Anteaters then hit three consecutive jumpers to build up a 14-point advantage. 

The first half ended with the score 31-19 in favor of Irvine.

Cal Poly started the second half strong as sophomore guard Kobe Sanders scored five straight points to cut the deficit to 11. Sophomore guard Brantly Stevenson and senior center Tuukka Jaakkola also contributed to the following run that brought the Anteater lead down to six. 

However, the Mustangs only scored four points in the subsequent five minutes as UC Irvine increased their lead to 20 points and controlled the game the rest of the way. 

Junior guard Trevon Taylor finished with a team-high 13 points and seven rebounds while freshman guard Julien Franklin scored a career-high 11 points.

Koroma, who is Cal Poly’s leading scorer on the season, was limited to 19 minutes in the contest. 

The Mustangs will continue their road trip against Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. inside Titan Gym. 

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