Mustang Men's Basketball Edges Morgan State at Las Vegas Invitational

Mustang Men's Basketball Edges Morgan State at Las Vegas Invitational



LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Senior forward David Hanson finished with a team-high 17 points and the Cal Poly men's basketball program set season highs for three-pointers (10) and three-point percentage (45.5) on Friday afternoon at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational as the Mustangs slid past Morgan State inside the Orleans Arena, 62-61.

Senior guard Amaurys Fermin and senior forward Will Taylor each added 12 points for Cal Poly (3-2), which was outscored during the final two minutes, 7-0, before watching Morgan State senior forward Ali Ameer miss a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds left on the clock. 

Junior guard Dylan Royer (above) finished with a season-high nine points on a trio of three-pointers for Cal Poly, which advanced to face Mississippi Valley State on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Mustangs opened their four-game run at the Las Vegas Invitational with a 42-36 defeat of USC (Nov. 19) before dropping a Tuesday decision at UNLV.

During Friday's earlier game, Mississippi Valley State (1-4) defeated Tennessee State (2-4) in double overtime, 90-89. Morgan State will face Tennessee State on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. 

At the close of a first half that witnessed six lead changes, eight deadlock scorelines and neither program holding a lead larger than four points, a Royer three-pointer with five seconds remaining provided Cal Poly a 31-30 lead at the break.

Taylor opened Cal Poly's second half with two quick jumpers and Hanson nailed one of his four three-pointers to provide the Mustangs a brief 41-34 lead with 16 minutes to play. The Bears, who finished 17-for-24 from the free throw line, then proceeded to hit six consecutive and, coupled with three-point plays from Ali and senior forward Kevin Thompson, compiled a 16-7 run during the ensuing eight minutes to grab a 50-48 lead. 

Cal Poly, facing Morgan State for the first time in program history, responded with three-pointers at the top of the arc from Fermin and Hanson to reaffirm a four-point lead and retained the cushion at 57-52 after Royer knocked down his second three-pointer of the afternoon with five minutes to play.

Another Royer three-pointer followed by a Taylor dunk then pushed Cal Poly's lead to 62-54 with two minutes on the clock before the Mustangs were held scoreless the remainder of the day. 

Junior guard Drake U'u added a team-best six rebounds for Cal Poly, which shot a season-high 90.9 (10-for-11) percent from the free throw line.