Posted: Dec 08, 2018
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sophomore wing Mark Crowe (pictured above) banked home a three-pointer from the right elbow at the buzzer to lift Cal Poly to an 80-78 overtime victory over Bethune-Cookman in a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday night inside Mott Athletics Center.
The visiting Wildcats from Daytona Beach, Florida, took a 78-77 lead with 4.2 seconds remaining in the extra period on a layup by Soufiyane Diakite. Bethune-Cookman called a timeout, allowing Cal Poly to set up the game-winning play.
Senior point guard Donovan Fields dribbled the ball into the front court and passed it to Crowe for the game-winning 22-foot shot at the buzzer. It was Crowe's only three-pointer of the night and he finished with 10 points.
Fields scored 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the floor to lead all scorers in the game. Senior guard Marcellus Garrick added 13 points and Crowe 10 as Cal Poly, playing its first home game in 31 days, improved to 3-5 on the year.
Bethune-Cookman, led by Cletrell Pope's 24 points, fell to 4-7. The Wildcats also lost to Saint Mary's and San Jose State earlier in the week on their California trip.
Also scoring in double figures for Bethune-Cookman were Malik Maitland with 14 points, Diakite with 13 and Dondre Duffus with 11.
The lead changed hands seven times in the first half and was tied five times. Bethune-Cookman led by as many as four points with 16:25 to go and Cal Poly's largest lead was seven with 10:02 remaining. A 10-0 run by the Wildcats wiped out the Mustangs' seven-point cushion but Cal Poly forged ahead at the break, 38-37.
Bethune-Cookman led by seven points three times in the second half, the last with 4:21 to play. Cal Poly outscored the Wildcats 8-1 the rest of the second half to force overtime, senior forward Kuba Niziol (pictured at right) forcing overtime by sinking two free throws with 18.6 seconds remaining. Bethune-Cookman's Maitland missed a baseline jumper with one second to go.
Neither team led by more than three points in the extra period.
Diakite's layup gave Bethune-Cookman a 76-73 lead with 1:25 to go, but a layup by Niziol with 1:07 to play and a dunk by junior forward Hank Hollingsworth with 15.1 seconds to go gave Cal Poly a 77-76 advantage. Diakite's layup with 4.2 seconds remaining was followed by Crowe's game-winner at the buzzer.
The Mustangs had missed nine consecutive three-point attempts before Crowe's game-winner.
Cal Poly won despite a 51-34 rebounding advantage by Bethune-Cookman. The Mustangs turned the ball over a season-low eight times, blocked nine Wildcat shots — Hollingsworth had three — and notched seven steals.
Cal Poly made 46 percent of its floor shots (29 of 63), including seven of 28 three-pointers, while Bethune-Cookman answered with 42 percent shooting (31 of 74), but just four of 18 from long range.
Diakite grabbed 15 rebounds and Pope 14 for the Wildcats. Hollingsworth led all Mustang rebounders with seven and freshman guard Junior Ballard grabbed a career-high five boards.
Cal Poly has won both of its overtime games this season -- edging USC Upstate 75-74 at the Portland Classic on Nov. 24 -- and has been extended to overtime in seven of its last 14 games going back to the 2017-18 season.
Both Fields and Crowe have five double-digit scoring games this year. The Mustangs' 38 first-half points is a season high. Cal Poly defeated a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) team for the first time and Bethune-Cookman is the preseason favorite in a poll of head coaches to win the MEAC title.
After Fall Quarter finals next week, Cal Poly visits Cal on Dec. 15 (Pac-12 Networks) and CSU Bakersfield on Dec. 18 (ESPN3) before returning home to host Texas-Arlington on Friday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.
Photos courtesy of Owen Main | www.fansmanship.com