Cal Poly Falls to Cal State Fullerton, 67-59
POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO | CHRIS EVERSLEY | MICHAEL BOLDEN
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Michael Williams scored 23 points, sinking 14 of 16 free throws, to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 67-59 Big West Conference men's basketball victory over Cal Poly on Thursday night in the Mott Athletics Center.
Alex Harris added 13 points and Steve McClellan 10 for the visiting Titans (9-16, 4-7 Big West).
Cal Poly (9-16, 5-7 Big West), which fell into a fifth-place tie with idle Cal State Northridge in the Big West standings, was paced by Chris Eversley with 19 points and David Nwaba with 13.
Cal Poly turned the ball over just eight times, but connected on just 36 percent of its floor shots (19 of 53). The Mustangs missed their first eight three-pointers before Eversley connected on one with 4:37 to go in the game and finished two-for-13 from long range.
Eversley's trey closed the gap to six points at 56-50, but Cal Poly, which won four of its first five conference games, could get no closer. The Mustangs have lost six of their last seven contests.
In the first half, the lead changed hands four times and the score was tied five times before Cal State Fullerton established control with an 11-0 run capped by a pair of free throws by Williams with 9:30 to go before intermission.
The Titans led 23-14 at that point and built the advantage to 39-24 at the break, the Mustangs' largest halftime deficit of the year. At one point, Cal Poly missed 10 consecutive floor shots before Kyle Odister ended the drought with a jumper with 4:59 to go in the half.
Cal Poly went on a 15-4 run early in the second half to trim the deficit to five points. Eversley made two free throws to make it 44-39 with 13:21 to play, but that was as close as the Mustangs would get.
Cal State Fullerton made 21 of 46 floor shots (46 percent) and took advantage of 26 Cal Poly fouls, sinking 20 of 30 free throws. The Titans also outrebounded the Mustangs 37-34, led by Williams with seven and Marquis Horne with six.
Eversley finished with his fourth double-double of the year and 12th of his Mustang career, grabbing 12 boards to go with his 19 points.
Cal State Fullerton earned its first win at the Mott Athletics Center in the five-year Joe Callero era.
Cal Poly hosts UC Riverside for another Big West contest Saturday night at 7.