Eversley Leads Cal Poly Men's Basketball Past UC Riverside, 54-52
POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO | CHRIS EVERSLEY | WILL TAYLOR
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Sophomore forward Chris Eversley produced his first career double-double -- 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds -- to lead Cal Poly to a 54-52 Big West Conference men's basketball victory over UC Riverside on Thursday night inside Mott Gym.
Eversley (pictured at right) also added four assists and three steals as head coach Joe Callero's Mustangs improved to 14-11 for the season and 5-6 in Big West games. Eversley's 11 boards is a team high for the season and his 14 points represented the seventh double-digit scoring game in his last 10 contests.
UC Riverside, led by senior guard Phil Martin with 22 points and senior forward Kevin Bradshaw with 10 points, fell to 11-13 and 5-6.
With the win, Cal Poly climbed from seventh place into a four-way tie for fourth place in the Big West. The Mustangs, Highlanders, Pacific and UC Irvine all are 5-6 in conference games. Cal Poly hosts UC Irvine on Saturday night at 7 inside Mott Gym.
UC Riverside jumped to a 12-5 lead in the opening nine minutes as Cal Poly made just two of its first nine floor shots. The Mustangs then went on a 12-2 run for a 17-14 advantage with 6:25 to play in the first half. Eversley capped the run with a pair of free throws.
Cal Poly settled for a 21-20 lead at the break and never trailed in the second half, opening up a 14-point cushion at 42-28 with 10:28 to play on a jumper by Eversley which capped another 12-2 Mustang run. Cal Poly did not turn the ball over in the opening eight minutes of the second half.
UC Riverside closed the gap to 52-50 on a three-pointer by Martin with 2:41 to play. Mustang senior guard Amaurys Fermin answered with a jumper from the key for a 54-50 lead with 2:24 to go. The only points mustered by either team in the final 2:24 was a tip-in by Martin with 37 seconds to play.
Cal Poly sophomore guard Jamal Johnson was fouled with 31 seconds to go and missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity at the line. Bradshaw grabbed the rebound for the Highlanders and, without calling their final timeout, set up the offense for a potential game-winning shot. Martin's three-pointer from the top of the key on the left side with a second to play fell short of the rim as time expired.
Cal Poly won despite making just 36.2 percent of its floor shots, including four of 20 from three-point range. UC Riverside connected on 42 percent, but was 1-for-8 from long range.
Cal Poly outrebounded UC Riverside 34-33. Senior center Will Taylor grabbed nine boards to go with his 13 points, his 13th double-digit scoring game of the year. Bradshaw had 10 rebounds in a double-double performance for the Highlanders.
UC Riverside turned the ball over 14 times, three more than the Mustangs.