Diego Rivera / Ka Leo Credit: Courtesy | Diego Rivera

Cal Poly Men’s Basketball struggled to capitalize on its shooting attempts and fell 84-68 to Hawai’i on Friday, Feb. 5 inside Stan Sheriff Center.

Cal Poly (3-12, 1-8 Big West) remains winless in road matchups since Jan. 31, 2019 as Hawai’i (6-5, 4-5 Big West) held the Mustangs to 41% shooting from the field. 

Hawai’i guard Justin Webster led all players in scoring with 20 points, 12 of them being three-pointers, followed by teammates Mate Colina and Casdon Jardine each adding 14 points, and Junior Madut contributing 13. 

Three Mustangs recorded double-digit points with sophomore guard Colby Rogers’ team high of 15 points followed by sophomore forward Alimamy Koroma adding 14 points and senior wing Mark Crowe with 12.

Cal Poly started the game by winning the tip-off but missed their first seven shots within the first four and a half minutes of play as Hawai’i led 3-0.

As the Rainbow Warriors let their defensive guard down, Rogers ignited Cal Poly’s offense after crossing a defender to sink a three-point jumper to make it 7-5. Another three by Rogers from the left corner gave the Mustangs their first lead of the night at 8-7 with 11:25 remaining in the first half. 

The Mustangs maintained their lead thanks to a deep three-pointer from Crowe for 15-12, but a minute later, the Rainbow Warriors retook the lead with a three-pointer of their own to make the score 17-15. Hawai’i continued to attack as it capped off a 10-2 run with a pair of free-throws with 5:44 on the clock. 

Senior guard Keith Smith drained a jumper from beyond the arc to bring the score to 41-29. Cal Poly scored the final basket of the half to head into halftime trailing by 10 points at 41-31. 

Three-point shooting proved to be pivotal in Hawai’i’s first half lead as they converted 6-11 from beyond the arc and held the Mustangs to 35% shooting from the field. Rogers and Koroma each added six points for Cal Poly in the half. 

Hawai’i carried its first half momentum into the second, opening the score just 20 seconds in for 43-31. Two minutes later, Crowe heroically denied Webster on a three-point attempt, blocking the ball in the air then going down the length of the court to sink his own three-point jumper for a six-point swing.

Over the next three minutes, both teams continued to exchange baskets until the Rainbow Warriors capitalized on their shooting efforts to go on an 11-5 run to extend their lead to 62-45. 

Koroma responded with back-to-back three-pointers within the span of a minute and 20 seconds to cut the lead to 64-51 with 9:06 remaining. 

Cal Poly continued its scoring drive with a 7-4 run only for Webster to convert yet another jumper from beyond the arc to extend the Rainbow Warriors’ lead to 72-58. 

After nearly three minutes of scoreless play from Cal Poly, freshman forward Brantley Stevenson added two points on the scoreboard for the Mustangs to pull within 16 points at 79-63 with 2:52 left.

However, the Rainbow Warriors quickly responded with a jumper and calmly closed out the remainder of the game at 84-68.

Despite losing the turnover battle 15-8, the Rainbow Warriors outrebounded the Mustangs 38-19. Both teams were efficient from three-point land, as Cal Poly converted 40% of their threes and Hawai’i made 47.4% of their attempts from three.

Cal Poly will complete its doubleheader against Hawai’i on Saturday, Feb. 6 inside Stan Sheriff Center.

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