Keith Smith (0) falls back as he takes a shot as Cal Poly Men’s Basketball takes on UC Davis in Mott Athletics Center on Friday, February 26, 2021. (MANDATORY CREDIT: Kyle Calzia / Mustang News)

Cal Poly Men’s Basketball failed to overcome an early first half slump and fell 69-61 inside Mott Athletics Center on Friday, Feb. 26. 

Sophomore guard Colby Rogers led all players with 19 points and seven rebounds in the first match of Cal Poly’s (3-16, 1-12 Big West) final home series of the season. UC Davis guard Damion Squire added 14 points in the victory. The Mustangs totaled a program record 13 blocks with sophomore forward Alimamy Koroma recording a career high six blocks.

Within the first four minutes, both teams attacked and traded baskets until Cal Poly took an 8-7 lead after a dunk from junior forward Tuukka Jaakkola. Cal Poly continued their scoring drive going on a 10-4 run.

UC Davis quickly reversed the game plan and dominated the court both offensively and defensively, going on a 16-0 run themselves to put them up at 27-16 at the 4:05 mark.

After over five minutes of a Cal Poly scoreless drought, Rogers converted a layup and a free throw to bring the score to 27-19. Over the remainder of the half, both teams exchanged baskets yet again as the Aggies closed it out with a free throw to put them up 34-25.

With under a minute remaining in the half, freshman guard Kobe Sanders left the game due to injury.

Despite being outscored in the first half, the Mustangs had a higher field goal percentage at 42% compared to UC Davis’ 32%. However, Cal Poly turned the ball over twice as many times with 10, from which the Aggies took advantage and converted 10 points.  

Both teams came out into the second half evenly matched, each scoring 10 points within the first six minutes. However, the Aggies shifted their momentum yet again to go on a 13-4 run over the span of four minutes, extending their lead to 53-38. 

Less than a minute later, the Mustangs bounced back with a 9-4 run of their own to cut the deficit to 62-54, capped off by a right corner three-pointer from Rogers.  

With 1:24 remaining, Rogers converted a layup in the paint to bring Cal Poly within five points at 66-61. However, the Mustangs could not complete their late comeback attempt and ultimately fell 69-61.

The Mustangs held UC Davis to 39% shooting from the field compared to their 41% and scored 27 points off the bench. 

Cal Poly will play their final home game of the season on Saturday, Feb. 27 against UC Davis inside Mott Athletics Center.

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