LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Junior forward David Hanson scored a team-high 18 points and senior guard Shawn Lewis added 13, but the Cal Poly men's basketball team's attempt to a close a 17-point deficit during the second half fell short on Saturday evening during the program's first matchup against UCLA in 55 years as the Mustangs ultimately fell at Pauley Pavilion, 72-61.
Sophomore guard Chris O'Brien added 10 points for Cal Poly (3-5), which trailed UCLA (4-4) with 11 minutes to play, 55-38. Helped by a three-point play from freshman guard Jamal Johnson and capped by a running dunk from Lewis (right), however, Cal Poly – making its debut at historic Pauley Pavilion – produced a 9-0 run during a two-and-a-half stretch to draw to within eight points of the UCLA lead.
The Mustangs, who outshot the Bruins for a majority of the evening before finishing with a 42 percent field goal mark, eventually whittled the Bruin lead to 58-51 with six minutes, 45 seconds remaining following a layup from junior guard Jordan Lewis. UCLA, which snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory, responded by holding Cal Poly scoreless for the ensuing six minutes.
During a first half that featured five deadlocked scorelines and four lead changes, neither team led by more than four points until forward Brendan Lane provided UCLA a 29-23 advantage three-and-a-half minute before intermission. Mustang sophomore guard Chris O'Brien responded with a layup on the ensuing possession, but the Bruins limited Cal Poly to a solitary David Hanson free throw during the final three minutes of the half and led at intermission, 34-26.
Spearheaded by a Hanson layup, Cal Poly opened the second half with a 7-2 run to draw to within three points of the UCLA advantage. The Bruins, however, responded with baskets from center Joshua Smith and forward Reeves Nelson to further their advantage to 40-33.
Both Hanson and Donahue finished with a team-best five rebounds for Cal Poly, which continues its five-game road trip at No. 14/15 San Diego State on Monday. The Aztecs (10-0) are the highest-ranked opponent Cal Poly has faced in program history.