POSTGAME VIDEO REACTION: JOE CALLERO | DAVID HANSON
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Senior forward David Hanson scored a team-high 12 points and sophomore guard Jamal Johnson and senior forward Will Taylor combined to hit six-successive free throws during the final 33 seconds as the Cal Poly men's basketball program opened the 2011 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational by upending USC inside the Galen Center on Saturday afternoon, 42-36.
Junior guard Drake U'u added eight points and six rebounds for Cal Poly (2-1), which snapped a nine-game slide against Pac-12 Conference opposition by holding USC (1-3) to four points during the final 10 minutes. The 36 points scored by USC were the fewest by a Mustang opponent during Cal Poly's 18-year Division I tenure. Additionally, the 42 scored by Cal Poly were the fewest in a Mustang victory in the Division I era.
Courtesy of a U'u three-pointer and a jumper and free throw from Taylor, the Mustangs found themselves with a quick 6-0 advantage after just two-and-a-half minutes. Still leading 11-9 at the 11-minute mark, however, the Mustangs missed 13-consecutive shot attempts (including nine three-pointers) and the Trojans, through a combined 11-point effort from junior forward Aaron Fuller and sophomore forward Garrett Jackson, edged to a 20-11 lead one-and-a-half minutes before the break.
Cal Poly, which held USC without an offensive rebound for the opening 14 minutes, finally snapped a 10-minute scoring drought through a putback by sophomore guard Maliik Love 76 seconds prior to halftime, but the Mustangs still trailed, 20-13.
The Mustangs opened the second half by knocking down five of their initial six shot attempts with junior guard Dylan Royer's three-pointer with 13 minutes to play allowing Cal Poly to close its chasm to 30-27. Sophomore guard Maurice Jones followed with two free throws, but the pair of points would be the only ones scored by the Trojans until freshman guard Byron Wesley's jumper reaffirmed USC's lead at 34-33 with three-and-a-half minutes to play.
At the other end of the floor, Hanson's second three-pointer of the night delivered Cal Poly a unassailable 36-35 lead with one minute, 26 seconds to play. A USC turnover moments later handed possession back to Cal Poly and Johnson, who finished with six points, sunk a pair of free throws. Johnson hit two more moments later to cement Cal Poly's victory before Taylor knocked down a pair of free throws to ice the game.
Cal Poly, which outrebounded USC, 41-32, continues Las Vegas Invitational action at UNLV on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Tip time at the Thomas and Mack Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.