FULLERTON, Calif. – Junior guard David Hanson registered a game-high 25 points and sophomore guard Dylan Royer scored a career-high 12 as the Cal Poly men's basketball team solidified the No. 2 seed for the March 10-12 Big West Conference Tournament with a 75-70 triumph versus Cal State Fullerton inside Titan Gym on Saturday evening.
Senior guard Shawn Lewis added 17 points for Cal Poly (15-13, 10-5), which matched the 2006-07 Mustang squad's program record for highest Big West finish during the school's 17-year Division I tenure. Cal Poly also matched the 2002-03 squad's program record of 10 Big West victories (set, however, during an 18-game schedule). Cal Poly, which shot 44.4 (12-for-27) percent from the three-point line, wrapped up the No. 2 seed for just the second time in conference tournament history.
Cal Poly can set program Division I records for conference victories and winning percentage and match the mark for fewest Big West defeats when the Mustangs complete their regular season schedule at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, March 5.
Cal State Fullerton guard Orlando Brown sliced down the lane for a layup to provide the Titans their largest lead of the opening half at 11-6 with 14 minutes remaining. Cal Poly continued to trail for the ensuing eight minutes but, down 21-17, the Mustangs – spearhead by a three-pointer from Royer – produced a 10-0 run to take their first lead since the opening minutes.
Titan forward Jer'Vaughn Johnson stemmed the Mustang tide with a jumper, but Cal Poly countered with three-pointers from Hanson and another from Royer to eventually lead 33-28 at the break.
The Mustangs shot just 35.3 percent from three-point range during the first half but opened the second by nailing three of their initial four attempts, courtesy of Hanson (two) and Royer. Leading 42-31 with 18 minutes to play, Cal Poly eventually increased its leverage to a 17-point chasm, thanks to another of Hanson's six three-pointers.
Highlighted by successive layups and a three-pointer from guard Devon Peltier, however, Cal State Fullerton reeled off a 9-0 run during a two-and-a-half minute span to cut the Mustang lead to 66-58. A three-pointer by Titan guard Perry Webster moments later sliced the Mustang advantage to six points.
The Titans ultimately drew to a 69-65 disadvantage with two-and-a-half minutes remaining before missing successive shots on the ensuing possession. At the other end of the court, Lewis knocked down two of his 11 free throws to ice Cal Poly's history-making win.
Hanson finished with 11 rebounds to record his second double-double of the year. Lewis totaled a game-high four assists.