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Cal Poly Earns Wire-to-Wire 77-65 Win Over Fresno State

Cal Poly Earns Wire-to-Wire 77-65 Win Over Fresno State

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Sophomore guard Taylor Sutlive (pictured above) made all five of his floor shots, three from long range, en route to a career-high 16 points as Cal Poly led from start to finish in a 77-65 victory over Fresno State in a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday night before 2,861 inside the Mott Athletics Center.

Cal Poly's first home victory over the Bulldogs since Feb. 4, 1971, improved the Mustangs' record to 5-3 while Fresno State fell to 6-2. The Mustangs had lost six straight at home to the Bulldogs and Cal Poly has beaten Fresno State just two times in their last 18 meetings.

Sophomore forward Luke Meikle added 15 points, senior guard Reese Morgan 14 and senior forward Joel Awich 10 -- reaching double figures for the seventh time in eight contests -- as Cal Poly won for the 16th time in its last 19 non-conference games at home.

Fresno State was led by senior guard Cezar Guerrero with 15 points. Junior forward Torren Jones added 13 points and senior guard Marvelle Harris 12.

Fresno State missed its first six floor shots and was 1-for-12 as Cal Poly raced to a 15-8 lead in the opening nine minutes of the game. The Mustangs stretched their first-half lead to 13 points at 27-14 on a pair of Sutlive free throws. A late 10-3 Bulldog run trimmed Cal Poly's advantage at the break to six points at 30-24 -- the lowest total by a Mustang opponent this season.

Cal Poly scored the first eight points of the second half for a 38-24 cushion with 18:08 to go and Fresno State never got closer than eight points the rest of the way. The Mustangs' biggest lead was 15 points on four occasions in the second half as Cal Poly maintained a double-digit lead over the final 13 minutes and 32 seconds.

Cal Poly surpassed the 70-point mark for the eighth time in eight games this season. The Mustangs scored 70 or more points just seven times in 29 contests a year ago.

Coach Joe Callero's Mustangs were able to keep Fresno State at a distance in the second half by sinking 59 percent of their floor shots (13 of 22) and finished with 50 percent efficiency from the floor (22 of 44). Fresno State was held to just 35 percent shooting for the game (24 of 69).

The visiting Bulldogs lost despite a 41-38 advantage on the boards and just six turnovers. Junior guard Paul Watson corralled nine rebounds for Fresno State while senior guard David Nwaba grabbed eight boards for the Mustangs, who had their four-game winning streak snapped Thursday by IPFW in a 75-73 setback.

For the second straight game, Nwaba produced seven assists and also contributed a pair of steals for Cal Poly. Freshman guard Jaylen Shead notched four assists while Awich blocked two Bulldog shots.

Fresno State received just 17 points from its bench while 36 of Cal Poly's 77 points came from its reserves.

Cal Poly, which played its final home game of 2015 with Saturday's win, will play its next six contests on the road, beginning Monday, Dec. 14, at Saint Mary's. The Mustangs also visit USC, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas-San Antonio and Texas A&M before opening Big West Conference play Jan. 6 at Hawai'i.

Next Mustang home game will be Thursday, Jan. 14, against Central Coast and Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara.