POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO | DAVID HANSON | AMAURYS FERMIN
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Senior point guard Amaurys Fermin matched his career high with 17 points to lead Cal Poly to a 67-61 non-conference men's basketball victory over Hope International on Thursday night before 1,616 in Mott Gym.
Senior forward David Hanson notched his second straight double-double and second of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds while junior guard Drake U'u added 10 points as head coach Joe Callero's Mustangs completed preparations for Big West Conference play with a 9-4 record.
Hope International was led by sophomore guard Matt Green with 18 points, sophomore guard Jeremy Kilgore with 12 points and junior guard Kris Rosales with 11.
Senior center Steve Jurich contributed six points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the visiting Royals while freshman forward Austin Sanford added nine points, eight boards and three blocks.
Cal Poly scored the first 10 points of the game and never trailed. The Mustangs led by as many as 11 points prior to the break and settled for a 36-27 cushion at halftime.
Hope International pulled to within one point twice in the second half. A jumper by Rosales with 15:01 to play made it 42-41 and junior guard Aaron Woods hit a three-pointer with 8:18 to go, making the score 54-53.
Cal Poly managed to hold on for the win despite sinking just four of 12 free throws down the stretch. A three-pointer by Green trimmed the Mustangs' lead to 64-61 with 1:33 to play, but Cal Poly scored the final three points of the game on single free throws by Fermin (pictured above), U'u and senior forward Will Taylor. Hope International missed its last four floor shots of the game.
Cal Poly outrebounded Hope International 42-32, led by Hanson and Taylor with 11 apiece. It was Taylor's fifth double-digit rebound game of the season while Hanson tied his season high.
Turnovers were minimal as Cal Poly committed nine miscues, one more than the Royals.
Cal Poly made 45.5 percent of its floor shots (25 of 55), including eight of 17 three-pointers, while Hope International connected on 39.3 percent (22 of 56), including six of 14 treys. Green was 5-for-8 from three-point range,
The Mustangs were just nine of 20 from the free-throw line, compared to 11 of 18 for Hope International.
Mustang junior guard Dylan Royer, the Big West leader in three-point shooting, hit three of seven from beyond the arc Thursday. He has hit at least one three-pointer in each of Cal Poly's 13 games this season and has hit multiple threes nine times.
Hanson tied his career high with three blocks while U'u notched a career-high four steals.
Cal Poly opens Big West Conference play Monday at 7:05 p.m. against UC Santa Barbara inside Mott Gym. The game will be televised in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties by KSBY.