POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO
LATEST VIDEO: HIGH FIVE W/ COACH CALLERO: PART IIII (CHRIS EVERSLEY)
IRVINE, Calif. – Senior forward Will Taylor scored a game-high 16 points and senior forward David Hanson finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds to post his third double-double in six games as the Cal Poly men's basketball program earned its first Big West Conference road victory of the season with a 66-50 triumph against UC Irvine inside the Bren Center on Thursday evening.
Sophomore forward Chris Everlsey finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Mustangs (11-6, 2-2), who posted their 100th victory as a member of the Big West and third-successive win at the Bren Center by outrebounding UC Irvine (6-11, 3-2), 43-34, and holding the Anteaters to a 36.2 (21-for-58) percent shooting mark from the floor.
The Mustangs, who produced eight steals to UC Irvine's solitary swipe, complete their two-game road trip at UC Riverside (9-8, 3-1) on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. The Highlanders defeated UC Santa Barbara (7-6, 2-1) in overtime earlier on Thursday, 79-70.
Taylor sank a pair of jumpers and senior point guard Amaurys Fermin swished a three-pointer from the top of the arc inside the opening three minutes on Thursday, but UC Irvine required half that time to produce an 8-0 run and erase Cal Poly's early lead.
Thanks to the sharpshooting and sharp follow-up work around the rim by Eversley (who connected on three-straight attempts from the floor), the Mustangs responded with a 9-2 run. However, despite the efforts of Taylor – who opened the matchup 5-for-7 from the floor – Cal Poly and UC Irvine traded the lead four more times the remainder of the half and entered intermission deadlocked, 24-24.
Hanson (above), who snatched seven boards during the first half, opened the second with a trio of jumpers and Taylor landed two more as the Mustangs ran out of halftime with an 11-5 run.
Up 37-29, Hanson countered a three-pointer by UC Irvine junior guard Mike Wilder with one of his own moments later to help the Mustangs maintain their eight-point cushion with 12 minutes to play. UC Irvine closed to within five points of the Mustang lead three times down the stretch with the last occurrence coming at 46-41 after freshman forward Will Davis II nailed a jumper with nine-and-a-half minutes remaining. Cal Poly, however, held the Anteaters without a bucket for the ensuing six minutes and closed the game with a 20-7 run.