H-SPORTS

Nov 15, 2012 1:31 AM by Andrew Masuda

Mustangs host Northern Colorado Thursday in home opener

The Cal Poly men's basketball team opens the home portion of its schedule on Thursday when Northern Colorado comes to Mott Gym.

The Mustangs dropped their season opener last Friday 53-46 at TCU despite leading by one point at the half. Cal Poly shot just 35 percent from the floor that night and allowed TCU to shoot 20 free throws, while the Mustangs took just 6 from the charity stripe.

Cal Poly is armed with veterans at the guard position and true freshmen down low. Freshman Brian Bennett led the Mustangs with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Eversley and Chris O'Brien added 8 points apiece. Freshman forward Zach Gordon had 7 points and 6 rebounds in his first collegiate game.

Northern Colorado set a program record for most points in a single game when the Bears blasted NAIA-level Southwest 127-81 in their season opener. The Bears shot 71% from the floor and made 11 of their 20 three-point shots. Connor Osborne had 19 points to lead four scorers with at least 15 points in the game.

"We know they can score. We know they can shoot it. We're not going to stop them from scoring. It's not going to be a 40 point game but we have to limit them and not let them get to 70s and 80s. And on the other hand, we've got to turn around and knock down shots and we get a better chance," said Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero.

Northern Colorado beat Cal Poly last season 81-73 as part of an ESPN BracketBuster Game. The Bears made 50% of their 3-point shots in that game and shot 61% from the floor overall. Cal Poly forced 17 turnovers and was led by Eversley's 18 points and Royer's 16.

The Mustangs are coming off an 18-15 season where they racked up the second-most wins in a single season in program history. The Mustang defense ranked 24th in the nation in opponents points per game.

The Mustangs went 10-4 in Mott Gym last season. They are looking to end a streak that dates back to February 2011 where no player has scored 20 or more points in a single game.

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