SANTA CLARA – Guards Reese Morgan (right) and Ridge Shipley each finished with a team-leading 11 points as the Cal Poly men's basketball team closed a five-game, 12-day road trip and host Santa Clara's 48th annual Cable Car Classic on Tuesday afternoon with a 69-58 triumph against the Broncos inside the Leavey Center.
Freshman forward Aleks Abrams pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds – the most by a Mustang in 16 games – for Cal Poly (6-5), which shot 48.1 (25-for-52) percent from the floor and 53.3 (8-for-16) percent from the three-point line and led for the final 25 minutes.
Junior wing David Nwaba added 10 points – his 10th double-digit scoring game of the season – as Cal Poly finished its five-game road trip with a 3-2 mark by securing the program's first victory at Santa Clara (5-6) in five all-time trips.
Coupled with a 60-58 triumph versus Northeastern (Dec. 17), Cal Poly closed the three-team Cable Car Classic with a 2-0 record.
Winners of four of the previous six games, Cal Poly completes Big West Conference preparations when visiting IPFW on Tuesday, Dec. 30. Tip time inside Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind., is 6 p.m. PT.
Highlighted by a three-pointer from junior guard Kyle Toth and a three-point play by junior forward Joel Awich, four different Mustangs produced baskets inside the opening three minutes as Cal Poly produced an early 10-4 advantage.
Santa Clara, however, countered with a 7-0 run during a two-minute span and eventually overtook the Mustangs at 17-16 after sophomore guard Jared Brownridge converted a pair of free throws. Brownridge – who sank four three-pointers during the first half – then added three in a two-minute stretch to put the Broncos up 26-24 seven minutes before the break.
The Mustangs, who shot 60.0 (15-for-25) percent from the floor and 75.0 (6-for-8) percent from three-point range during the first half, finished the opening period with a 14-6 run to take the lead for certain at halftime, 38-32.
The Broncos twice closed within four points of Cal Poly's lead early in the second half but, leading 41-37, the Mustangs limited Santa Clara to just two buckets during a six-a-and-half minute span to stretch their advantage to double digits.
Cal Poly, which led by as much as 12 points on three occasions down the stretch, limited Santa Clara to a 26.9 (7-for-26) percent field goal mark in the second half.