Lauren Rabaino

Many sized up the Cal Poly men’s basketball team’s game at Arizona State on Monday night as a forecast for how the Mustangs might fare Dec. 22 at USC.

Well, foul weather may be on the way.

Cal Poly was drilled 75-41 in a nonconference loss in which it shot only 25.5 percent from the field, barely cracked 20 points in each half and had just one double-figure scorer in front of 6,151 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz.

In having their three-game winning streak snapped, the Mustangs (3-3) were held to their fewest points since a 64-37 loss at UC Santa Barbara in February 2006.

Dawin Whiten scored 12 points on 4-for-16 shooting to lead Cal Poly, which also got nine points from Matt Hanson and eight from Lorenzo Keeler. The Mustangs, though, had two starters go scoreless and had only 11 assists to 13 turnovers.

Arizona State, meanwhile, had four double-figure scorers – paced by 15 points from James Harden, who also snared a game-high 10 boards.

Cal Poly trailed 19-2 at one point in the first half, in which it had as many turnovers (eight) as buckets.

The Sun Devils (3-1), winners of three straight, are already closing in on their win total from last year’s 8-22 campaign. Arizona State outrebounded Cal Poly 49-23 and shot 23 for 28 from the free-throw line.

Coming off their best season at the Division I level – a 19-11 finish in which they were only 13 minutes away from the NCAA Tournament – the Mustangs beefed up their schedule. They signed up for two games against Pac-10 schools, another against Western Athletic Conference preseason favorite Utah State and even have a nationally televised Big Monday game on ESPN2 on Jan. 28 at Pacific.

Cal Poly should have an easy time regrouping when it hosts Menlo College – an NAIA Division II team that went only 15-12 last year – at 2 p.m. Sunday. After that, the Mustangs visit Northern Arizona (Dec. 9) and Portland State (Dec. 12).

Cal Poly has only 12 home games this season to 17 on the road.

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