Sports

Jan 19, 2014 1:49 AM by Bill Halter

Mustangs one point short of staying unbeaten in Big West

A furious late rally fell a point short as Cal Poly senior guard Jamal Johnson hit the back rim on a shot to win at the buzzer. The Mustangs lost, 63-62 to the three-time defending Big West regular season champs, Long Beach State. The loss drops Cal Poly to 3-1 in conference play and ends the Mustangs 16 game Big West home winning streak. The 49ers improve to 2-2 in the conference.

UCLA transfer Tyler Lamb led Long Beach State with 20 points and the 49ers outrebounded Cal Poly, 41-28. Long Beach State used a 17-0 first-half run to take a 26-19 lead and the 49ers never trailed from there.

The Mustangs were within a point when Johnson's 17 foot contested shot at the horn missed.

Overall Cal Poly is now 7-10, Long Beach State is 6-12. Both teams played difficult non-conference schedule's.

Long Beach State stretched the lead to 11 (56-45) with 8:10 to play and were ahead 62-52 with 2:49 to go before Cal Poly mounted a late charge. A three-pointer by senior Chris Eversley with 13.1 seconds to play capped a 10-1 Mustang run to make it 63-62.

49ers junior guard Mike Caffey missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with five seconds to play. Johnson grabbed the rebound and dribbled it down the court, he spun into a shot just inside the three point line that was a few inches strong as time expired.

Eversley led Cal Poly in scoring with 16 points and senior guard Kyle Odister added 10, all in the second half.

The sellout crowd of 2,924 was the largest in two years in the Mott Athletics Center, a span of 28 games. The Mustangs and UC Santa Barbara drew 3,032 on January 2, 2012.

Cal Poly plays its next two Big West games on the road, visiting Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night and UC Riverside on Saturday night. Both games tip at 7 p.m.

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