Cal Poly Men’s Basketball fell to Fresno State 62-37 on Saturday, Dec. 14 inside Mott Athletics Center. The defeat marked the lowest point total for the Mustangs since a 2014 NCAA Tournament loss against Wichita State.
“We’re depleted in the post and they punched us in the mouth in the post and second shot opportunities,” head coach John Smith said. “We tried to take advantage in other areas that we didn’t get the chance to get to. [We] didn’t have great leadership from the point guard spot, so we gotta fix that and work on that.”
The Mustangs were the first to score on the night through freshman guard Colby Rogers. However, Fresno State quickly tied the game at 2-2 through sophomore guard Aguir Agau.
A three-pointer from Agau saw Fresno take the lead at 5-2. The Mustangs responded through Rogers, sophomore guard Junior Ballard, and freshman forward Alimamy Koroma to bring the game to 13-9 with just under ten minutes remaining in the half.
Fresno State began to pull away through senior forward Nate Grimes, who scored a layup and followed with a three-pointer to put the score at 19-11. Mustang senior guard Job Alexander went on to draw a foul and convert a layup before stealing the ball on the ensuing play and drawing yet another foul from Fresno State.
Alexander finished the period in a similar fashion for Cal Poly. After drawing a foul and converting the following free throw, Alexander received an inbound pass, drove to the hoop with seconds left and scored before the buzzer to bring Cal Poly’s deficit to 24-21 at halftime.
However, Fresno State dominated the game after the break. The Bulldogs outscored the Mustangs 20-3 in the first ten minutes of the second half to extend their lead to 44-24.
“You can’t give that type of effort against a Mountain West team, a team that’s won 23 games in the past,” Smith said. “With the type of players they have, we just, we didn’t respond. We have in the past, but just didn’t today.”
Ballard and Rogers did what they could to shorten the gap as both players drew fouls and scored before the end of the game. A fast break from a steal and a layup from junior point guard Keith Smith gave the Mustangs’ their final points, but the game came to a close with the Bulldogs ahead 62-37.
Cal Poly will be on the road for its next game against Sacramento State on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7:05 p.m.