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California Escapes Past Cal Poly on Jumper with 3.8 Seconds to Play

California Escapes Past Cal Poly on Jumper with 3.8 Seconds to Play

BERKELEY – Senior guard Donovan Fields (above) scored a game high 26 points – including hitting a jumper with 16 seconds to play to provide the Cal Poly men's basketball program a one-point lead – but California guard Paris Austin sank a jumper himself with 3.8 seconds remaining to hand the Golden Bears a 67-66 win inside Haas Pavilion Saturday evening.

Sophomore wing Mark Crowe added 11 points for Cal Poly (3-6), which grabbed a 64-63 lead with 46 seconds to play after junior forward Hank Hollingsworth – who grabbed a game high eight rebounds – sank two free throws. On the ensuing possession, however, Austin drove the lane for layup as California regained the 65-64 lead.

Fields, who recorded his fifth 20-point game this season, then knocked down his 10th field goal of the evening – a contested jumper in the paint – to swing the lead back in Cal Poly's direction at 66-65.

After Austin produced the eventual game-winning bucket and Saturday's eighth lead change, Cal Poly called timeout to set up its final sequence. Fields, however, saw a potential game-winning three-pointer fall short as time expired.

Freshman forward Daxton Carr added nine points for Cal Poly, which sank 10 three-pointers and limited California (4-5) to a 29.4 (5-for-17) percent mark from beyond the arc.

Cal Poly concludes a two-game road trip versus CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Tip time from the Icardo Center is 7 p.m.

Four of Cal Poly's first five field goals Saturday evening came from three-point range, but the Mustangs still found themselves trailing, 21-16, with eight minutes remaining in the opening half. A layup from junior guard Job Alexander two minutes later cut Cal Poly's deficit to 24-20, but Golden Bears guard Darius McNeill answered with a three-pointer and forward Justice Sueing knocked down a free throw to stretch California's lead to its largest of the first half.

Carr, however, sank three straight three-pointers and Fields followed with layup. After closing the first half with a 9-4 run, Cal Poly trailed at the break, 32-29.

Carr and Fields then opened the second half with successive three-pointers to hand Cal Poly its first lead of the night at 35-34. Fields capped the 7-0 run with a step-back jumper.

Shooting 54.5 (6-for-11) percent from the floor to begin the second half, Cal Poly led by as much as 44-38 with 14 minutes to play following a Fields layup.

Cal Poly still led 47-42 before the Golden Bears held to Mustangs scoreless for four minutes and, with a 10-0 run, regained a 52-47 lead with eight minutes to play.

The Mustangs were still down 60-55 with five minutes remaining when Fields sank a pair of free throws and a layup. Fields then found Hollingsworth for his third assist to hand Cal Poly the 61-60 advantage with four minutes to go.