Santa Barbara
74° F
Santa Maria
69° F
San Luis Obispo
67° F
69° F

Cal Poly Looking to Punch Ticket to NCAA Tournament

By Senerey De Los Santos, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Anchor/Reporter,
Published On: Mar 14 2014 11:57:10 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 15 2014 09:09:33 PM CDT

Cal Poly Wins Semifinals

ANAHEIM, Calif. -

Senior forward Chris Eversley and sophomore wing David Nwaba each scored a team-leading 14 points as the Cal Poly men's basketball team advanced to the Big West Conference Tournament championship game following a seven-year absence after eliminating top-seeded UC Irvine in the semifinal round on Friday evening inside the Honda Center, 61-58.

Sophomore forward Brian Bennett added 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds for Cal Poly (12-19), which will face either No. 3 Long Beach State (15-16) or No. 5 Cal State Northridge (16-17) in Saturday's ESPN2-televised, 7:30 p.m. Big West Tournament championship game. Cal Poly, which reached a third successive semifinal appearance by knocking out second-seeded UC Santa Barbara on Thursday 69-38, received nine points from senior guard Kyle Odister and shot 45.1 (23-for-51) percent from the floor and 45.5 (5-for-11) percent from three-point range.

Saturday's Big West Tournament championship game will be Cal Poly's third in 12 tournament appearances. The Mustangs lost in the 2003 and 2007 titles matchups.

In reaching Saturday's Big West Tournament title game, Cal Poly established a new set of conference distinctions, namely:
– becoming the first No. 7 seed in the 39-year history of the Big West Tournament to beat a No. 1;
– becoming the first No. 7 seed to win a semifinal game since Fresno State reached the 1991 final;
– becoming the lowest-seeded team to play for the Big West Tournament title since 10th-seeded UC Irvine lost the 1994 final to No. 1 New Mexico State and;
– becoming the lowest-seeded team in the history of the tournament to eliminate both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.

Leading Friday's semifinal matchup 61-55 following a pair of Nwaba free throws with 67 seconds to play, Cal Poly surrendered a three-pointer to sophomore guard Alex Young. UC Irvine sophomore guard Dominque Dunning then forced a steal from Mustang senior guard Jamal Johnson, but Young missed a layup that would have brought the Anteaters to within one point of the Mustang lead.

Eversley grabbed the rebound, but found himself fouled by Young. Eversley, however, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 20 seconds to play and after UC Irvine senior guard Chris McNealy missed a three-point attempt with six seconds to play, Anteaters freshman guard Luke Nelson fell short at the buzzer with his attempt.

Neither side led Friday's semifinal by more than three points until a 13-2, six-minute run by the Anteaters delivered UC Irvine a 21-13 advantage with nine minutes remaining in the opening half.

Junior wing Michael Bolden helped stem UC Irvine's run with a three-pointer. The shot helped kickstart Cal Poly's own spurt with the Mustangs compiling a 9-2 run during a five-minute span to draw to a 23-22 deficit.

After the second of Odister's three three-pointers drew the Mustangs level at 25-25 with three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half, Cal Poly deadlocked the scoreline twice more before an Eversley jumper from the right corner placed the Mustangs up at the break, 31-29.

Despite conceding a 52.4 (11-for-21) percent field goal mark to UC Irvine in the first half, Cal Poly forced the Anteaters into eight turnovers while suffering just one.

Cal Poly continued its ascendancy into the second half, as back-to-back jumpers from sophomore forward Joel Awich helped the Mustangs score 10 of the first 12 points and push toward a 41-31 lead with 16 minutes to play.

UC Irvine countered with an 8-2 run to move to within four points of Cal Poly's lead at 43-39 with 12-and-a-half left. Once again, however, Cal Poly fended off UC Irvine as another Awich layup broke the run.

The Anteaters, who outrebounded Cal Poly, 32-26, closed to within fewer than three points of the Mustang lead just once the remainder of the night.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Body of Isaiah Sanchez Recovered at Cachuma Lake

    Santa Barbara County sheriff rescue crews have found a body near the place where Isaiah Sanchez went missing.

  • Ellwood Fire

    Explosion at Goleta Apartment Complex Leaves One Man Hospitalized

    Santa Barbara County Fire crews responded to an explosion and fire at an apartment complex on 447 Ellwood Drive in Goleta.   Fire officials received the call at around 7:00 p.m. One person was injured and taken to the hospital with severe burns.  The apartment manager helped put out a small fire that broke out after the blast. The explosion and fire are still under investigation.  The fire did not spread to any adjoining apartments.

  • dangerous dogs

    Orcutt Family Starts Petition to Change County Ordinance

    An Orcutt family is fighting to keep their dogs from being euthanized, and is now trying to change a county ordinance on aggressive dogs. The family has an online petition spreading their message on the internet in an effort to get the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisor's attention.

    Peggy Henning remembers the day her family welcomed Daisy and Duke into their family like it was yesterday.

    "They immediately just became part of the family," said Henning. "They were very friendly with all the guests we had coming over."

    But things changed when Daisy and Duke got loose. They liked chasing cats.

    "Dogs are pack animals and that is their default instinct," said Henning. "If they are bonded or litter mates, it intensifies that. They would get out of the confines of our house or yard and this instinct would come to the surface."

  • Santa Paula Reserve Police Officer Resigns After Posting Video About Bicyclists

    Volunteer posted a YouTube video joking about running over bicyclists.

  • Juvenile Hall Court to Host Gang-related Murder Trial

    The so-called "U-Haul murder trial" is expected to be another high security, gang-related trial that requires extra time and money to make it work at the Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall courtroom which is seen as the most practical venue.

  • Stone Named Interim Head Football Coach for Dons

    JT Stone Will Serve as Interim Head Football Coach at Santa Barbara High School

    Stone has 14 years of coaching experience at the youth and high school level.

  • Explosion Caused By Man Producing Marijuana Oil

    Explosion Caused By Man Producing Marijuana Oil

    Investigators said the Goleta apartment explosion and fire Monday night was caused by the illegal process of making butane honey oil.

  • IV meeting Interview

    Town Hall Meeting in Isla Vista Aims to Unite Community

    The UC Santa Barbara Associated Students hosted a Town Hall Meeting to help open the dialogue between the different community members in the diverse college town. Over 200 people attended the meeting, including college students, full-time residents, business owners, UCSB faculty members and several key local political figures. Interview with Ali Guthy, President of the Associated Students at UCSB. 

  • Slideshow: Rescue Crews Find Body In Cachuma Lake

    Santa Barbara County sheriff rescue crews have found a body near the place where Isaiah Sanchez went missing.

  • Slideshow: Blondes VS Brunettes Charity Football Game

    A charity football game at the Polo fields in Carpinteria pits the Blondes vs Brunettes. The all-women football teams duked it out on Saturday to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. Both teams fought fiercely but in the end, only one came out the victor.

    Photography by Oscar Flores.