Cal Poly men’s basketball fell 83-48 to the Fresno State Bulldogs on Friday, Dec. 18 inside Save Mart Center.
Coming off three straight close finishes, the Mustangs (3-8) trailed for 38 consecutive minutes in the loss to the Bulldogs (9-2) as they finished up their nine-game road trip.
From the tip, Fresno State controlled the game with former Cal Poly Mustang Junior Ballard leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 28 points. Ballard played two seasons with Cal Poly until transferring to Fresno State last year.
After the Mustangs took a 5-2 lead to start the game thanks to sophomore guard Kobe Sanders’ jumper and three-pointer, the Bulldogs went on an 18-5 run over the proceeding seven minutes.
Sophomore guard Brantly Stevenson led the Mustangs in scoring with 12 points in the half and ended the game with a season-high 14 points in the game.
Fresno ended the half shooting an astonishing 60% from the field and 58% from beyond the arc while holding a commanding 50-29 lead.
The second half started well for the Mustangs, as Sanders and Stevenson traded buckets to bring the lead down to 16 points and spark momentum into the bench. However, it was short-lived as the Bulldogs proceeded to outscore the Mustangs 33-14 the rest of the way and take the 83-48 victory.
Sophomore guard Kyle Colvin ended the night with 12 points and three rebounds for the Mustangs, while Sanders had one of his best games of the season with nine points and seven rebounds.
The Mustangs did not shoot the ball well from the field, ending at 31% and 24% from three-point land, including 2-15 on threes in the second half.
Cal Poly’s matchup with No. 4 UCLA was scheduled to be played on Wednesday, Dec. 22, but was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak within UCLA’s program.
Therefore, the next game for the Mustangs will be on Thursday, Dec. 30 inside Mott Athletics Center against Long Beach State to kick off Big West Conference play.