Guards Keith Smith and Junior Ballard co-led the Cal Poly men’s basketball program with 11 points apiece Thursday evening, but the Mustangs were kept to just one field goal during the final seven minutes in dropping a 77-62 decision to UC Davis inside Mott Athletics Center.
Freshman guard Colby Rogers added 10 points for Cal Poly (7-19, 4-8 Big West), which trailed UC Davis (13-15, 7-5), 55-52, with seven-and-a-half minutes to play before being outscored by the Aggies, 22-10. During a matchup that featured 16 lead changes, UC Davis shot 54.8 (23-for-42) percent from the floor in snapping Cal Poly’s four-game home winning streak.
With the loss, Cal Poly slipped into a tie for eighth place in the Big West Conference standings alongside UC Riverside (14-14, 4-8), which dropped a 56-55 home decision to Hawai’i on Thursday.
Cal Poly continues its three-game home stand by hosting UC Riverside on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.
The top eight programs in the nine-team standings qualify for the March 12-14 conference tournament.
Neither side led Thursday’s matchup by more than five points for the opening 31 minutes. Cal Poly’s largest lead of the night came at 20-15 after Ballard sank a three-pointer midway through the opening half. UC Davis, however, tied the scoreline three times down the stretch before a three-point play from guard Stefan Gonzalez with three seconds remaining in the opening half handed the Aggies a 34-32 lead at the break.
The two programs traded the lead four further times into the second half before the second of two free throws from Aggies guard Elijah Pepper provided UC Davis a 47-46 advantage with 11 minutes to play.
Cal Poly, which also received a game high five assists from Smith and Ballard, never led again.
-Provided by Cal Poly