FRESNO – Sophomore wing Mark Crowe (above) finished with a career high 22 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program – after trailing Fresno State by nine points at the break and trimming the deficit to four midway through the second half – closed a six-game road trip with a 76-67 defeat inside the Save Mart Center on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Ballard added a career high 15 points after finishing 5-for-7 from three-point range for Cal Poly (2-5), which trailed Fresno State (5-2), 45-41, with 10 minutes to play. The Bulldogs, however, answered with a 7-0 run to keep Cal Poly at bay in leading Saturday's matchup wire-to-wire. Held to a 24.0 (6-for-25) percent field goal mark during the first half, Cal Poly shot 46.2 (18-for-39) percent over the final 20 minutes to climb back into the matchup.
Cal Poly returns home to Mott Athletics Center to host Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, Dec. 8. Tip time is 7 p.m.
Held to a 1-for-10 shooting start by Fresno State, Cal Poly found itself trailing 11-2 after six minutes. Despite holding Fresno State to just two field goals during an ensuing seven-minute span, Cal Poly still found itself down, 18-13, six minutes before the break.
Fresno State, which forced Cal Poly into 11 first-half turnovers, twice extended its cushion as far as 11 points before taking a 32-23 advantage into halftime.
Cal Poly, however, opened the second half with a 12-8 run that was capped by seven successive Crowe points as the Mustangs shortened their deficit to 40-35 with 14-and-a-half minutes to play. A layup from junior guard Job Alexander five minutes later then brought Fresno State's lead down to 45-41.
That was as close as the Mustangs would pull, however, as Fresno State needed just 73 seconds to respond with its 7-0 run to regain a 52-41 lead with eight-and-a-half remaining.