Cal Poly Men’s Basketball team fell down the stretch 64-60 against the Long Beach State 49ers on Friday, Feb. 19 inside Walter Pyramid.
The Mustangs, who led during the opening 34 minutes, fell to 3-14 (1-10 Big West) on the season. Long Beach improved their record to 4-7, including 3-4 in Big West play.
The Mustangs took an early 8-2 lead to open the game after a three-pointer by sophomore Alimamy Koroma. However, the 49ers tied the game at 18 with 5:40 remaining in the first half thanks to a layup by senior guard Isaiah Washington.
Cal Poly held the lead over the 49ers for the entirety of the first half. However, Long Beach State tied the game again at 25 with 1:14 remaining in the half. Junior forward Tuukka Jaakkola made a layup with 35 seconds remaining to give the Mustangs a 27-25 lead going into halftime.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, especially from beyond the arc. Cal Poly went 3-18 from downtown, while Long Beach failed to make a three in the first half on 10 attempts. The Mustangs received 12 points from their bench compared to just two for the 49ers.
In what became a back and forth second half, the Mustangs secured their biggest lead of the game at 51-44 when Koroma sank a free throw with 9:13 remaining in the game.
However, the 49ers started to claw back. Guard Michael Carter III hit back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game at 54 and Long Beach took their first lead of the game at 56-54 when Carter made a layup with 5:31 remaining.
Freshman forward Brantly Stevenson gave Cal Poly the lead again at 58-57 after sinking two free throws. However, the 49ers closed out the game by outscoring the Mustangs 7-2 in the final 90 seconds to secure the 64-60 victory.
Although Koroma recorded his first double-double in his collegiate career with 14 points and 11 rebounds, the Mustangs were unable to secure their second conference victory. Carter finished with a game high 23 points for the 49ers who closed the matchup on a 16-6 run.
The Mustangs played well defensively, limiting the 49ers to a 33.3% field goal mark and 11.8% from three.
The Mustangs will look to bounce back when they play Long Beach State again on Saturday, Feb. 20 inside Walter Pyramid.