Jan 25, 2013 1:37 AM by Andrew Masuda
Fueled by an early 14-0 run and capped with career nights from Drake U'u and freshman Brian Bennett, the Cal Poly men's basketball team coasted to an 88-59 win over the University of Hawaii in a Big West Conference game Thursday night before 2,122 in the Mott Athletics Center.
Junior Chris Eversley hit 8 of his 11 shots on his way to a team-high 19 points to go with 8 rebounds and 4 steals. He led the four Mustangs with 14 or more points. Bennett scored a career high 17 points and grabbed a team-best 9 rebounds. U'u, who started at point guard, set career-highs with 14 points and 8 assists.
Redshirt freshman Reese Morgan made his second-straight start. Morgan hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. "I'm trying to be aggressive in the starting lineup. People are really focused on Dylan (Royer) since he's an amazing shooter so I've sort of got my time to put shots up and I'm hitting them right now," said Morgan, who poured in a career-high 26 points in Saturday's double-overtime loss at UCSB.
The Mustangs trailed the Warriors 4-0 early, but went on a 14-0 run in the next 3 1/2 minutes to take the lead for good. The Mustangs later went on a 10-2 spurt to take a 38-26 lead into halftime. Cal Poly opened the second half on a shot 64 percent in the second half with a 15-3 run and led by as many as 34 points. Cal Poly made 63 percent of its shots from the floor in the second half and 56 percent for the game.
The Mustangs out-rebounded Hawaii 38-21 and dished out 20 assists. Morro Bay High graduate Dylan Royer finished with 6 points and 5 rebounds.
Cal Poly improved to 4-3 in Big West play and 8-9 for the season. The Mustangs snapped a three-game losing streak, all came on the road, and continued their dominance at home. The Mustangs have won five in a row on their home floor and taken their last eight Big West Conference home games dating back to last season.
"We talked about all week how excited we were to come home, start fresh. Obviously after that 3 game skid with tough games on the road. But we knew how good of a team we are at home and the fans gave us energy and really set the standard for us," said U'u after his career-best game.
Cal Poly continues Big West play Saturday at 7pm when Cal State Northridge comes to town. The Matadors upset the Gauchos 7-5-69 at UCSB on Thursday for their first conference win of the season.
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