SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Senior guard Darren Moore made all of his 11 free throws en route to game-high scoring honors with 25 points as UC Irvine defeated Cal Poly 65-53 in a Big West Conference men's basketball game Saturday night before 2,747 in Mott Gym.
Moore connected on six of his 11 floor shots and also contributed eight rebounds, two assists and five steals for the Anteaters (8-10, 2-3 Big West). Junior forward Eric Wise added 13 points and 12 rebounds while sophomore guard Mike Wilder contributed 11 points.
Cal Poly (7-9, 3-2 Big West), which made just four of 25 three-pointers (16 percent, the lowest figure of the season for the Mustangs) and had a three-game winning streak snapped, was paced by junior center Will Donahue (pictured above) with 14 points and nine rebounds, junior forward David Hanson with 10 points and a season-high 14 rebounds and senior guard Shawn Lewis with 12 points.
For Hanson, it was his first double-double of the season.
The score was tied four times and the lead changed hands nine times in the first 12 minutes of the game. Cal Poly led 16-15 with 7:54 to play when UC Irvine went on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good. Senior guard Patrick Rembert capped the run with two free throws and a 22-16 Anteater advantage with 3:49 to play in the opening half.
UC Irvine settled for a 28-21 lead at the break.
Cal Poly briefly closed the gap to three points at 31-28 with 16:37 to play in the game on a free throw by freshman guard Maliik Love, but the Anteaters then went on an 11-0 run to pull away, establishing their biggest lead of the game at 42-28 on a layup by freshman guard Chris McNealy with 14:24 to go.
The Mustangs could not get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
UC Irvine outrebounded Cal Poly 46-40 and turned the ball over just eight times, seven fewer than Cal Poly. The Anteaters won the game despite sinking just 27.6 percent of their floor shots (16 of 58) and were six of 22 from three-point range.
Cal Poly made 15 of 19 free throws (78.9 percent, its second-highest of the season), but UC Irvine connected on 27 of its 37 charity shots (73.0 percent).
Donahue led Cal Poly in scoring for the first time this season. Saturday's game marked the first time that someone other than Hanson and Lewis led the Mustangs in scoring.
Sophomore guard Chris O'Brien's four assists as well as Lewis' four blocked shots are career highs.
Cal Poly returns to the road next week, visiting UC Riverside on Thursday and Cal State Northridge on Saturday.