Cal Poly Men’s Basketball fell short in a 68-62 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Feb. 2 inside the Thunderdome.
The Mustangs (7-16, 1-10 Big West) have now lost 10 straight games, while the Gauchos (18-3, 9-1 Big West) currently sit atop the conference standings after winning their fifth game in a row.
Early in the first half, Cal Poly’s offense got the job done with a 6-for-9 start from the field, but UCSB maintained a solid lead, going up nine points with nine minutes left before halftime.
With three minutes left, however, the Mustangs got a pair of three-pointers from senior guard Trevon Taylor and graduate small forward Chance Hunter to bring them to within five, but a Gaucho bucket gave them a 35-27 lead heading into the break.
After the half, six straight points by senior big man Alimamy Komora and a three from junior guard Kobe Sanders cut the UCSB lead to 39-36 with 17 minutes to go.
However, the Gauchos grew their lead to 48-39, distancing themselves yet again.
The Mustangs didn’t go down easily, however, rattling off a 13-4 run to even the game at 52-52 with five and a half minutes remaining.
UCSB forward Andre Kelly converted the next bucket to put his squad up two points, and the Gauchos didn’t let go of the lead for the rest of the matchup.
The game remained just out of Cal Poly’s reach, as it was a one-possession game until there was 1:14 left on the clock. However, the Mustangs couldn’t stop UCSB’s offense and committed crucial fouls down the stretch, handing them the win.
Koroma led the Mustangs with 13 points and eight rebounds, while three other players joined him in double digits. Junior guard Brantly Stevenson and Hunter each chipped in 12 points, while Sanders added 11 of his own.
Cal Poly will return home to face off against the University of Hawaii on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. inside Mott Athletics Center.