Cal Poly comeback falls short in home loss to UC Irvine - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Cal Poly comeback falls short in home loss to UC Irvine

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Senior guard Victor Joseph produced his team leading 22nd double-digit scoring game of the year with 16 points, but the Cal Poly men’s basketball program – after trimming a 20-point first-half deficit to five midway through the second – ultimately dropped a 75-58 decision to UC Irvine inside Mott Athletics Center on Saturday evening.

Junior guard Donovan Fields finished with 10 points and junior forward Aleks Abrams grabbed a team high six rebounds for Cal Poly (8-19, 3-10), which trailed UC Irvine (14-15, 9-4), 31-11, with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half.

However, Cal Poly – which committed just six turnovers – cut its gap to eight points at halftime and trailed just 62-56 with four minutes to play. Junior guard Marcellus Garrick though missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Anteaters scored on their next three possessions en route to finishing the matchup with a 13-2 run.

Cal Poly closes its three-game home stand and the program’s 13-game regular season home schedule when hosting CSUN on Thursday, Feb. 22. Tip time inside Mott Athletics Center is 7 p.m.

During Saturday’s matchup, Cal Poly was held without a field goal for the opening six minutes while UC Irvine built an early 11-2 lead. The Mustangs though followed with two Joseph free throws, a jumper from senior forward Luke Meikle and a three-pointer by freshman wing Mark Crowe to Cut UC Irvine’s lead to 13-9 with 12 minutes remaining in the opening half.

UC Irvine, however, responded with an 18-2 run during the ensuing five-and-a-half minute window to slide out to its 31-11 advantage.

Facing their largest deficit of the evening, Cal Poly began chipping away with junior guard Trevor John knocking down a three-pointer before Joseph followed with a layup, three-pointer and another layup as Cal Poly scored on four straight possessions to draw to a 33-21 disadvantage. Two more Mustang free throws followed before Joseph hit yet another layup to complete a 14-2 run and trim the Anteater lead to 33-25.

Cal Poly’s eight-point gap remained at halftime and, still trailing 43-35 with just under 13 minutes to go, the Mustangs moved within five points of UC Irvine after junior guard Kuba Niziol completed a three-point play.

The Mustangs trailed by six on three more occasions before UC Irvine outscored Cal Poly by 11 to wrap up the matchup.

-Provided by Cal Poly

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