Feb 2, 2014 2:37 AM by Bill Halter
The Cal Poly men's basketball team played on national television against the tallest player in the nation but the Mustangs came up short against UC-Irvine. The Anteaters won 64-50 in front of a sold-out Mott Athletics Center crowd (3,032 fans) and ESPNU television audience.
UC-Irvine freshman center Mamadou Ndiaye is 7'6" but the Mustangs tested him in the early going. Joel Awich, David Nwaba and Chris Eversley all scored over him as Cal Poly jumped out to a 15-9 lead. From there the Anteaters went on a 14-0 run and went to the half up 39-28.
The Mustangs got as close as nine points in the second half but Irvine shot 48 percent from the field and 7-16 on three pointers while out-rebounding the Mustangs 39-34.
UC Irvine (14-9 overall, 5-2 Big West) is tied with UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State as all earned victories Saturday. Cal Poly, suffering its third straight Big West loss, dropped to 8-13 and 4-4.
Freshman guard Luke Nelson scored 15 points for the Anteaters while sophomore guard Alex Young added 14 points. Ndiaye had four points and three blocks.
Cal Poly was led by senior forward Chris Eversley with 14 points, his team-leading 14th double-digit game of the season. Senior guard Kyle Odister, who missed the last three games with an injury, added 12 points.
The Mustangs are on the road for their next three games starting next Saturday at Hawai'i.
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