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Gauchos shake off rough first half to beat Cal Poly in Big West quarterfinal game

UCSB defeats Cal Poly in a Big West Tournament quarterfinal game

HENDERSON, Nev. - Ajay Mitchell scored 21 of his game-high 24 points in the second half as UCSB beat rival Cal Poly 64-54 in a Big West Tournament quarterfinal game.

It was the 12th straight time UCSB has beaten Cal Poly in this series and they won for the 19th time in their last 20 meetings with the Mustangs.

The Gauchos came out flat and Cal Poly surged out to a 10 point lead and settled for a 32-26 advantage at halftime.

Alimamy Koroma scored 12 of his 17 points in the first twenty minutes as the Mustangs were looking for a second straight upset after beating Long Beach State on the first day of the tournament.

Brantly Stevenson stayed hot as he led the Mustangs with 18 points.

The guard had scored 60 combined points in his last two games entering this quarterfinal.

UCSB scored the first five points of the second half as they played with much more energy than the first half.

Miles Norris tallied 9 of his 12 points in the second half.

A Norris steal led to a Calvin Wishart layup that put the Gauchos ahead for good at 40-39 with 12:40 left in the game.

Mitchell took over down the stretch with driving layups and midrange jump shots.

He completed a three-point play with 4:21 left and the Gauchos led 57-49.

UCSB is now 25-7 and will play UC Riverside in a semifinal game on Friday at 8:30pm.

The Gauchos were 0-2 this year against the Highlanders.

Cal Poly ends a dismal season at 8-25 which included an 18-game losing streak.

Article Topic Follows: College Sports

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Mike Klan

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