Cal Poly Pulls Away Late to Beat Cal State Northridge, 62-52

Cal Poly Pulls Away Late to Beat Cal State Northridge, 62-52

POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO | KYLE ODISTER | DAVID NWABA

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Sophomore wing David Nwaba tallied 16 points and senior guard Kyle Odister added 14 as Cal Poly earned its 16th consecutive home Big West Conference victory Thursday night, defeating Cal State Northridge 62-52 before 2,248 in the Mott Athletics Center.

Coach Joe Callero's Mustangs scored 10 of the game's final 12 points after the visiting Matadors had pulled to within two at 52-50 on two free throws by freshman guard Aaron Parks with 2:14 to play.

Cal Poly matched its best start of a Big West campaign -- the 1996-97 and 2012-13 squads also started conference 3-0 -- and improved to 7-9 for the season. Cal State Northridge fell to 10-8 and 2-1.

Junior guard-forward Stephan Hicks tallied 16 points for the Matadors while sophomore forward-center Tre-Hale Edmerson scored 13 points and senior guard Josh Greene added 10.

Cal Poly made nine of its 20 three-pointers while Cal State Northridge made none of its eight attempts.

Callero is now 5-0 at home against Cal State Northridge. The Mustangs, who have won 17 of their last 18 home games overall, seek their first 4-0 start in 18 Big West seasons Saturday night, hosting Long Beach State at 7 p.m.

Cal Poly made 40 percent of its floor shots for the game (19 of 47) while Cal State Northridge connected on 15 of 43 field goal attempts (35 percent). The Mustangs outrebounded the Matadors 32-30, led by senior forward Chris Eversley with nine. Edmerson grabbed eight boards for the Matadors.

Cal Poly turned the ball over just seven times while Cal State Northridge had 10.

Cal State Northridge held several small leads in the opening five minutes of the game, but a layup by sophomore forward Joel Awich gave Cal Poly a 7-6 advantage with 14:24 to go in the first half and the Mustangs never trailed the rest of the way.

Cal Poly led by as many as 10 points in the opening half at 21-11. Cal State Northridge closed out the first half with a 9-2 run, trimming Cal Poly's lead to 23-20 at the break.

Cal Poly rebuilt the advantage to as many as eight points in the second half and led 44-37 with 8:09 to go on a three-pointer by Odister. An 8-1 Matador run capped by a layup by Greene tied the game at 45-45 with 5:43 to go.

The game also was tied at 47-47 before Nwaba made two free throws with 4:35 to play, giving Cal Poly the lead for good. The Mustangs' 10-2 run ending the game was fueled by a three-pointer and two free throws by Odister and five free throws by Nwaba.

Cal Poly senior guard Jamal Johnson produced six assists, his third game of six or more assists this season, while Awich blocked four shots, a career high. Nwaba (pictured above) now has a team-high 11 double-digit scoring games this season.