SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Senior guard Keith Smith (above) led three Mustangs in double-digit scoring figures with 12 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program – after overturning a 13-point halftime deficit to lead early in the second period – dropped a 70-61 Wednesday decision to San Diego inside Mott Athletics Center.
Graduate forward Hank Hollingsworth and freshman guard Kobe Sanders each finished with 10 points for Cal Poly (2-3), which trailed San Diego (1-2) at halftime, 39-26. The Mustangs, however, opened the second half with a 19-4 run to take a 45-43 lead with 13 minutes to play. Cal Poly though held the lead for just 31 seconds as San Diego scored on four successive possessions in outdistancing the Mustangs.
Closing a season-opening, five-game home stand on Wednesday and facing San Diego for the first time in 23 seasons, Cal Poly also received a team high seven rebounds from Hollingsworth. San Diego, however, shot 48.3 (29-for-60) percent from the floor and outrebounded the Mustangs, 39-33.
Cal Poly next travels to Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Dec. 19 for its lone non-conference road matchup of the regular season. Tip time from Gersten Pavilion is 6 p.m.
Cal Poly scratched out an early 14-11 advantage to open Wednesday's matchup before San Diego reeled off a 9-0 run to lead 20-14 after nine minutes. Cal Poly scored on three successive possessions to trim its deficit to 22-21, but San Diego responded with a 13-0 run. In holding the Mustangs without a bucket for six minutes, San Diego built a 35-21 advantage before taking the 39-26 lead into halftime.
The Mustangs received back-to-back layups from Hollingsworth to open the second half before senior wing Mark Crowe sank a three-pointer to lower San Diego's lead to 41-33 with 18 minutes to go. Still facing a 43-35 deficit two minutes later, Smith sank a jumper before Koroma recorded Cal Poly's next three buckets – all layups. Another layup – this time from freshman forward Dyson Koehler – completed the 19-4 run to hand Cal Poly the 45-43 lead with 13 minutes to go.
San Diego, however, answered with the baskets on four successive possessions to assume the final lead change. A Sanders jumper with six-and-a-half minutes remaining lowered San Diego's lead to 56-55, but that was as close as Cal Poly climbed the remainder of the afternoon.
Article courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics