Sophomore guard Junior Ballard scored 17 points in the season opener, but Cal Poly Men’s Basketball fell 77-63 to Santa Clara on Friday Nov. 8th inside Leavey Center. Six different players made their Cal Poly debuts in the game, which marked the beginning of the regular season with first-year head coach John Smith.
The Broncos (1-0) got off to an 11-2 run to start the first half, with four of those points coming from junior forward DJ Mitchell.
The Mustangs (0-1) went on a scoring drive of their own to tie the game up at 11-11 with 12:52 remaining in the half.
The two squads exchanged buckets for the next five minutes until the score stood at 22-20 in favor of the Broncos. Then, Santa Clara broke the game wide open.
The Broncos ended the first half up 33-26 after an 11-6 run in which junior forward Josip Vrankic contributed five points and Mitchell added six to bring his first half total to 12.
At the end of the half, the Mustangs’ leading scorer was redshirt freshman forward Kyle Colvin with eight points.
After starting the second half with the lead, Santa Clara never looked back. The closest the Mustangs ever got to the Broncos was a deficit of seven points following a layup by senior guard Job Alexander with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Both teams turned up the scoring in the second half, combining for 81 total points — 44 from Santa Clara and 37 from Cal Poly.
Four out of the five starters for the Broncos scored in double digits, while only Ballard and Colvin reached that mark for Cal Poly. Santa Clara shot 46.9 percent from the field and the Mustangs reached 39.7 percent.
Cal Poly will stay on the road for their second game of the season as they travel to North Dakota State to take on the Bison on Monday, Nov. 11th at 11:00 AM.