After 20 days out of action, Cal Poly Men’s Basketball fell 62-49 to CSU Bakersfield in their first Big West Conference double-header matchup of the season on Friday, Jan. 8 inside Icardo Center.
Sophomore guard Colby Rogers paced the Mustangs (2-5, 0-1 Big West) with a game-high 18 points, while guards Czar Perry and Shaun Williams led the Roadrunners (6-4, 2-1 Big West) to the victory with 11 points respectively.
The game started off slowly, paving the way for the remainder of the half, with Bakersfield opening the scoring with a pair of free-throws after almost a full minute of play.
After nearly three scoreless minutes for both teams, Rogers hit a three from the left corner to bring the score to 6-5 at the 14:53 mark. This is the closest that the Mustangs would come to the Roadrunners for the remainder of the game.
Both teams struggled from the field in the early going, with the score coming to 11-5 with nearly half of the first period gone.
Rogers ended a six-minute Cal Poly scoring drought with a jumper to cut the deficit to 13-7 with 8:45 remaining. Rogers had scored 5 of the 7 points for the Mustangs.
Both teams switched on their shooting and scoring efforts late in the first half, with the Mustangs going on a 6-0 run to bring the score to 18-14 with 2:30 left. However, the Roadrunners went on their own 12-5 scoring drive to go into the half with a 30-19 lead.
In the first half, Bakersfield outrebounded Cal Poly 22 to 13 and forced the Mustangs to commit seven turnovers compared to their five.
The start of the second half proved to be a reflection of the first. Bakersfield came out with the same defensive energy by going on an 8-3 run to extend their lead at 38-23 with 16:25 on the clock.
Cal Poly could not regain its momentum as Bakersfield added a pair of free throws to finish off a 10-3 run that put them ahead by 17 points at 15:21.
A three-pointer from freshman forward Brantly Stevenson that cut the lead to 42-28 with 13:04 left in the half. However, Bakersfield responded with another 13-4 run over a five-minute stretch to put the game away.
At the 6:40 mark, junior forward Tuukka Jaakkola initiated a 12-3 run in which Rogers clinched his 18th point of the night to pull the Mustangs within 13 points at 60-47.
The late Mustang offensive effort was not enough as Bakersfield closed out the game with ease at 62-49.
Points off turnovers proved to be a factor in the Cal Poly loss as Bakersfield converted 15 points off of 14 Mustang turnovers. Despite being outscored and trailing throughout the entirety of the game, Cal Poly finished with a higher field goal percentage than Bakersfield at 39.6% shooting compared to the Roadrunners’ 38.2%.
Cal Poly will face Bakersfield again tomorrow Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 pm for the second game of the double-header inside Icardo Center.