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Mustang Men's Basketball Returns to USC on Saturday

Audio (Internet only): HERE
Livestats / Video:
HERE
All-Time Series:
1-1
Last Meeting:
Dec. 22, 2007 (USC, 78-55, @USC)
Last Cal Poly Victory:
Dec. 22, 2003 (93-78, @USC)

WILL TAYLOR DISCUSSES SATURDAY'S SHOWDOWN AT USC (video)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Cal Poly men's basketball program (1-1) hits the road for the first time during the 2011-12 campaign when facing USC (1-2) inside the Galen Center on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. Dave Grant will provide the play-by-play commentary for GoPoly.com HERE in what will be the Cal Poly program's lone internet-only broadcast of the 2011-12 season. Livestats and streaming video is available HERE.

WELCOME TO FABULOUS CAL POLY BASKETBALL:
Saturday's showdown at USC marks the opening game of Cal Poly's four-contest run in the 2011 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. Action continues in Las Vegas against UNLV on Tuesday, Nov. 22 inside the Thomas and Mack Center. The Mustangs then transition to the Orleans Arena to face Morgan State on Friday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. before squaring off against either Tennessee State or Mississippi Valley State the following afternoon.

CAL POLY VERSUS USC:
The Mustangs and Trojans have met just twice prior with Cal Poly claiming a 93-78 victory during the first encounter on Dec. 22, 2003. USC prevailed during the last matchup on Dec. 22, 2007, 78-55. Both contests took place in Los Angeles.

BREAKING THE PAC: Dating to a 93-78 victory at USC on Dec. 22, 2003, Cal Poly has dropped nine-consecutive matchups against current Pac-12 Conference members. 

DEFENSE REMAINS AT THE FOREFRONT:
A year after finishing third among all Division I programs in opponent three-point percentage (28.7), sixth in opponent points per game (58.9) and 25th in opponent field goal percentage (40.0), Cal Poly enters Saturday's showdown at USC having limited this year's opponents to a 25.7 percent mark from beyond the arc, 56.0 points per game and a 40.7 percent figure from the floor.

LAST TIME OUT FOR CAL POLY (NOV. 16):
Senior forward Will Taylor scored a career-high 16 points and senior guard Amaurys Fermin added 14, but CSU Bakersfield junior guard Tyrone White's three-pointer with 10.3 seconds to play helped the Roadrunners past Cal Poly inside Mott Gym, 60-58. Cal Poly, which overcame an 11-point first-half deficit to lead by as much as six points in the second half, was outscored 8-0 over the final four minutes of the game. Sophomore guard Jamal Johnson (above) added a career-high seven assists for the Mustangs, who shot the exact same percentage from the floor as CSU Bakersfield (51.0 percent; 25-for-49).

MUSTANGS LOOK FOR RIGHT TURN ON ROAD:
Cal Poly finished 8-9 away from Mott Gym last season, a set of games that included late losses at Pac-12 opponents UCLA (72-61) and California (51-41) and narrow defeats against postseason qualifiers San Diego State (51-45), UC Santa Barbara (49-43) and Long Beach State (61-55).

WORTH THE WAIT:
Forced to sit out the 2009-10 season after transferring from Hagerstown College (Md.) and the 2010-11 season after suffering an ACL injury, senior guard Amaurys Fermin finally made his Cal Poly debut with a game-high 17-point performance during the program's 79-52 victory against San Jose State (Nov. 12). Fermin, Cal Poly's leading scorer with 15.5 points per contest, added 14 against CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 16.

TAYLOR SMASHES CAREER HIGH … AGAIN:
Four days after grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds during Cal Poly's 79-52 season-opening win against San Jose State, Will Taylor notched a career-best 16 points in the program's 60-58 loss against CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 16. Taylor, who finished 8-for-9 from the floor against the Roadrunners, leads Cal Poly with a 73.7 percent field goal mark and 8.5 rebounds per game and ranks second with 14.0 points per contest entering Saturday's game at USC. Taylor's previous collegiate highs came via a 12-point, 12-rebound performance against CSU Bakersfield on Jan. 30, 2010.Taylor, who redshirted the 2010-11 campaign, started 19 of Cal Poly's 31 games two years ago, shot 44.7 percent from the floor and paced the Mustangs with 28 steals.