POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Senior forward David Hanson (above) led three Mustangs in double-digit scoring figures with 16 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program allowed its highest point total in three seasons on Wednesday night in dropping a 94-81 decision against Cal State Northridge inside the Matadome.
Senior point guard Amaurys Fermin and sophomore forward Chris Eversley each added 15 points for Cal Poly (15-12, 6-7), which dropped the opportunity to claim sole possession of fourth place in the Big West standings after Pacific (6-7, 10-15) fell at UC Davis (2-11, 3-22) on Tuesday evening. The Mustangs, who allowed their highest point total since falling at Utah State (97-57) on Nov. 29, 2008, also yielded a 57.1 (28-for-49) percent field goal mark to the Matadors (7-17, 3-10) in falling for the sixth-straight season at the Matadome.
The Mustangs enjoy a brief respite from Big West play when visiting Northern Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 18 as part of the 2012 ESPN Sears BracketBuster series. Tip time inside Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion is set for 6:05 p.m. PT.
The Mustangs found themselves down early but, keyed by the second of senior guard Matt Titchenal's pair of three-pointers, the Mustangs rolled off a 14-2 run to grab a 19-12 lead 10-and-a-half minutes before the break.
The Matadors twice cut Cal Poly's lead to four points during the ensuing six minutes before senior guard Vinny McGhee nailed successive three-pointers to spur an 8-0 run that handed Cal State Northridge a 35-34 lead four minutes prior to halftime. The lead was traded a further six times the remainder of the half (including on the final four possessions) with senior forward John Hayward-Mayhew's putback on the stroke of the halftime buzzer providing the hosts a 44-43 advantage.
The Mustangs shot 57.7 (15-for-26) percent from the floor during the first half, but allowed a season-high 62.5 (15-for-24) percent figure to the Matadors.
Cal Poly, which failed to grab a rebound during the final 12 minutes of the first half, yielded another pair of three-pointers to McGhee as the Matadors opened the second half with a 12-4 run. Unable to close Cal State Northridge's lead to fewer than five points, the Mustangs instead saw their deficit creep to a 12-point gap with 11 minutes to play.
A three-pointer from Hanson eventually cut Cal Poly's deficit to 70-65 with eight minutes remaining, but the five-point chasm was as close as Cal Poly would come to reclaiming its lead.