UNLV Outlasts Cal Poly Men's Basketball at Las Vegas Invitational
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Senior forward David Hanson scored a season-high 17 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball team suffered its first defeat at the 2011 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational on Tuesday evening with the Mustangs falling against UNLV inside the Thomas and Mack Center, 75-52.
Senior guard Amaurys Fermin and sophomore guard Jamal Johnson each added nine points for the Mustangs (2-2), who trailed by eight points with 13 minutes remaining before being held to just three during an eight-minute stretch in the second half. The Mustangs, who held UNLV (5-0) to a 23.5 (4-for-17) percent mark from three-point range, shot just 31.7 percent from the floor themselves.
The Mustangs transition to the Orleans Arena to finish Las Vegas Invitational play against Morgan State on Friday, Nov. 25 (2 p.m.) and either Tennessee State or Mississippi Valley State on Saturday, Nov. 26 (11:30 a.m. or 2 p.m.).
Junior guard Drake U'u, who grabbed seven rebounds, completed a three-point play six minutes into action to provide the Mustangs a 12-10 lead. The Rebels, however, responded to that fourth and final lead change by producing a 9-0 run during the ensuing three-and-a-half minutes.
With six minutes remaining during the first half, Johnson beat the shot clock buzzer with a three-pointer to draw the Mustangs to a 20-17 deficit. UNLV, however, was once again able to limit the Mustangs with a Fermin three-pointer and a Hanson putback on the sound of the halftime buzzer counting as Cal Poly's only points down the stretch as the Rebels led at the break, 29-22.
Johnson and Hanson each nailed three-pointers during the initial two-and-a-half minutes of the second half, but the Mustangs failed to score on successive possessions without UNLV notching a basket until the final two minutes. A Fermin layup with 13 minutes to play saw Cal Poly slice the deficit to single-digits for the final time at 43-35. From there, UNLV held Cal Poly to a Will Taylor three-point play during the eight-minute span in pulling away.
Hanson (above) added eight rebounds for Cal Poly, which suffered its first double-digit loss since falling at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 22, 2011, 80-65.