Credit: Eyasu Betwos | Mustang News

Cal Poly men’s basketball fell down the stretch to Long Beach State 78-65 on Saturday, Feb. 5 inside the Walter Pyramid. 

The Mustangs (5-15, 1-7 Big West) led at the end of the first half 31-30 but failed to take down the Big West Conference leader.

The Mustangs had the upper hand on the Beach (12-9, 7-1 Big West) early, as they led for the majority of the opening half and held a 27-18 lead with five minutes remaining. However, Long Beach State came back with a 12-4 run in the final minutes to cut the Mustang advantage to just 31-30 at the end of the half. 

Cal Poly still held onto their lead for most of the second half as well. The Mustangs led by as much as seven points and had a 53-51 lead with eight minutes remaining in the game. However, the Beach outscored the Mustangs 27-12 in the final eight minutes to collect their seventh conference victory. 

Despite the loss, sophomore guard Kobe Sanders sank a career-best five three-pointers in addition to a career-high 22 points. Junior forward Alimamy Koroma also recorded his third career double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. 

Long Beach State capitalized on Mustang mistakes, as they turned 23 turnovers into 29 points while finishing 91.7% (33 for 36) from the free-throw line. 

The Mustangs will look to bounce back as they return home to play Cal State Northridge on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m inside Mott Athletics Center.

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