HONOLULU, O'ahu – Senior guard Victor Joseph (above) chalked up his 16th double-digit scoring game in 17 outings this season with a team leading 11 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program never led against Hawai'i Wednesday evening inside the Stan Sheriff Center and dropped a 57-45 decision to the Rainbow Warriors.
Junior guard Marcellus Garrick added nine points for Cal Poly (6-11, 1-2), which held Hawai'i (11-5, 2-1) to a 40.5 (17-for-42) percent field goal mark and forced the Rainbow Warriors into 14 turnovers. Four days after knocking down 19 three-pointers against Cal State Fullerton, however, the Mustangs hit just three versus the Rainbow Warriors.
Junior guard Donovan Fields finished with eight points for Cal Poly while freshman forward Karlis Garoza scored a career high six. Garrick and junior forward Josh Martin each pulled down a team leading six rebounds for the Mustangs.
Following an eight-day break, Cal Poly resumes Big West Conference action with a pair of ESPN3-broadcasted matchups at UC Irvine (Thursday, Jan. 18) and CSUN (Saturday, Jan. 20).
Backed by a layup and three-pointer from Hawai'i senior forward Gibson Johnson, Cal Poly found itself trailing 7-0 after three minutes. Senior forward Luke Meikle though got Cal Poly on the board with a layup and the Mustangs kept the Rainbow Warriors to just one basket in an ensuing five-minute span to cut their deficit to 10-9 with 12 minutes left in the opening half.
The Mustangs eventually tied the matchup at 21-21 after Joseph completed a three-point play and once more at 23-23 following a Fields layup. Hawai'i, however, closed the half with a 6-0 run during the final 109 seconds and took a 29-23 lead into the break.
A Fields jumper and Joseph's second three-point play of the evening trimmed Cal Poly's early second-half deficit to 32-28 before Hawai'i responded with a 7-0 run to grab the game's first double-digit lead.
Cal Poly punched back with a 7-0 run of its own to bring Hawai'i's lead back down to four points at 39-35 with 11-and-a-half minutes to play, but that was a close as the Mustangs drew the remainder of the night.