FRESNO, Calif. – Senior forward Chris Eversley scored a team-leading 14 points and grabbed a Mustang-best seven rebounds, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program endured three separate scoring droughts of six-plus minutes at Fresno State on Wednesday evening en route to dropping a 63-46 decision inside the Save Mart Center.
Sophomore wing David Nwaba (right) added 11 points for the Mustangs (0-3), who limited Fresno State (3-1) to a 40.0 (20-for-50) percent mark from the floor, but were held to a 32.1 (17-for-53) percent performance themselves and an 11.8 (2-for-17) percent figure from three-point range. Senior guard Jamal Johnson and sophomore forward Brian Bennett each finished with nine points for Cal Poly, which committed just six turnovers, forced Fresno State into 11, but recorded the program's lowest point total since falling at TCU 53-46 on Nov. 9, 2012.
Two dunks from Nwaba helped fortify an early 10-7 lead, but Fresno State followed by holding the Mustangs scoreless for a six-minute phase en route to building a 21-13 lead nine minutes before the break.
Quick three-pointers from Eversley and senior guard Kyle Odister allowed Cal Poly to close its deficit to 23-19 with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the half. The Mustangs, however, suffered another six-minute scoring drought to close the opening period and faced a 31-19 chasm heading into intermission.
Starting the second half in the same offensive manner as he did the first, Nwaba produced a three-point play and layup inside the opening 90 seconds to help spur an eventual 12-3 run that closed Cal Poly's gap to 37-31 with 15 minutes to play.
Having worked the deficit down to 40-35 a minute later, however, Cal Poly suffered their third dearth of six-plus minutes, this time forced into a 0-for-6 shooting performance as Fresno State engineered a 9-0 run. The Mustangs failed to close to within single digits of the Bulldog lead the remainder of the night.
Cal Poly returns home to the Mott Athletics Center to host Bethesda University on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 3 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Owen Main (Fansmanship.com)