PORTLAND, Ore. – Freshman forward Tuukka Jaakkola (above) posted a career high 13 points for the Cal Poly men's basketball team Friday evening, but the Mustangs – after leading Portland by 10 points at halftime – were outscored by 15 in the second half and dropped a 72-67 decision inside the Chiles Center.
Sophomore wing Mark Crowe added 10 points for Cal Poly (1-4), which led the Pilots at half, 33-23. However, Portland – facing Cal Poly for the first time in 12 seasons – shot 60.9 (14-for-23) percent and knocked down nine three-pointers during the second half to edge the Mustangs during second-day action at the Portland Classic.
Freshman forward Daxton Carr chipped in a career high nine points for the Mustangs, who committed a season low 10 turnovers and outrebounded Portland, 41-32. Senior forward Kuba Niziol led the way for Cal Poly with seven boards.
Cal Poly closes Portland Classic action versus first-time opponent USC Upstate on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 2:30 p.m.
Facing a 13-5 deficit after eight-and-a-half minutes of action, Cal Poly responded by holding the Pilots to just one field goal during a six-minute span midway through the first half to go up 24-17 six minutes before intermission.
The Mustangs led by as much as 33-20 following a Niziol basket before ultimately taking the 10-point lead into halftime.
Into the second half, senior guard Marcellus Garrick sank a three-pointer two minutes back into play to reaffirm Cal Poly's 13-point lead at 38-25.
The Pilots, however, limited Cal Poly to just a Niziol three-pointer during an ensuing four-minute stretch and, as part of an 18-3 run, grabbed a 43-41 lead.
Mustang senior guard Donovan Fields helped answer with successive layups to give Cal Poly a 45-43 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
The two programs traded the lead five more times during the next seven minutes, but a three-pointer from Portland guard Franklin Porter wrested his side the lead for certain at 57-55 with five minutes to play.
Cal Poly closed within two points of Portland just once more at 60-58 following a Jaakkola free throw.