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January 28, 2012

Mustang Men’s Basketball Roars Back to Defeat UC Davis, 67-65

POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO

LATEST VIDEO: HIGH FIVE W/ COACH CALLERO (DYLAN ROYER)

DAVIS, Calif. – Senior forward Will Taylor (above) scored a game-high 18 points and sophomore forward Chris Eversley matched a career best with nine rebounds as the Cal Poly men's basketball program overturned a 17-point deficit on Saturday night inside The Pavilion to deal UC Davis a 67-65 defeat.

Senior forward David Hanson and sophomore guard Kyle Odister each added 12 points for Cal Poly (13-9, 4-5), which trailed by 14 points with nine minutes to play before an Eversley three-pointer handed the Mustangs their first lead of the night at 64-62 with two minutes on the clock. UC Davis freshman guard Tyrell Corbin hit a layup on the ensuing Aggie possession to briefly knot the scoreline before Hanson reaffirmed Cal Poly's lead at 67-64 with 69 seconds to play by sinking his only three-pointer of the night. 

Taylor was then whistled for his fifth foul at the other end of the court, but Aggie sophomore forward Harrison DuPont mustered home just one of two free throw attempts. With a chance to put the game away, Cal Poly senior point guard Amaurys Fermin failed to push home a layup and the rebound was knocked out of bounds by the Mustangs.

On the game's final sequence, however, Aggie sophomore forward Josh Ritchart rolled a layup wide off the left baseline, DuPont missed his putback and a five-foot fading jumper by senior guard Eddie Miller was ruled to have swished the net after the final buzzer as the Mustangs claimed victory. 

The Mustangs, who outscored UC Davis during the final nine minutes, 22-6, hit seven three-pointers during the second half. Having prevailed for the fifth time during the last six trips to UC Davis, Cal Poly also improved to 7-2 following a loss this season.

Cal Poly continues its four-game road trip at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.

Held to a 0-for-8 shooting performance to start Saturday's matchup, the Mustangs trailed by 10 points early and eventually found themselves down, 30-13, six minutes before halftime. Despite eight points from Taylor and six rebounds from Eversley, Cal Poly – which scored on consecutive possessions just once during the first half – still trailed at halftime, 39-25.

Facing their largest halftime deficit of the season, the Mustangs still found themselves down by 14 with nine minutes to play before successive layups by Hanson and Taylor kickstarted a 10-0 Cal Poly run that, culminated by a three-pointer from junior guard Dylan Royer, cut the deficit to 59-56 with five-and-a-half minutes remaining. 

UC Davis (1-19, 0-8) recovered to knock down three free throws, but Taylor finalized a three-point play at the four-minute mark before landing a layup on the next possession to cut Cal Poly's chasm to a single point. Eversley then hit his lead-changing three-pointer to put the Mustangs up for good.