SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Four Cal Poly men's basketball players finished in double-digit scoring figures on Thursday evening but, behind 30 points from senior guard Casper Ware, Long Beach State downed the Mustangs inside Mott Gym, 78-69.
Cal Poly (11-8, 2-4) was paced by senior forward Will Taylor's 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior forward David Hanson added 12 points, senior point guard Amaurys Fermin 11 with five assists and sophomore forward Chris Eversley with 10 off the bench.
Cal Poly led the entire first half, hitting 76 percent of its floor shots. The Mustangs opened up a 12-point cushion at 30-18 with 6:45 remaining on a three-pointer by Fermin and settled for a 39-32 advantage at the break.
Long Beach State turned the tables in the second half by sinking 71 percent of its field goal attempts. The 49ers used a 12-0 run to turn a 45-36 deficit into a 48-45 lead with 13:46 remaining on a three-pointer by Ware.
Eversley answered with a three-pointer with 13:10 to play, tying the game at 48-48, before Ware converted a conventional three-point play to give the 49ers the lead for good, igniting a 17-3 Long Beach State run.
Long Beach State twice led by 14 points in the second half and Cal Poly could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Cal Poly outrebounded Long Beach State 30-22 but finished with 50 percent accuracy from the floor – nine of 19 from three-point range – while the 49ers hit 59 percent of their field goal attempts (eight of 11 treys).
Cal Poly also turned the ball over 15 times, five more than Long Beach State. The 49ers made 24 of 35 free throws (68.6 percent) while the Mustangs connected on just eight of 12 charity shots (66.7 percent).
With sophomore guard Maliik Love replacing junior guard Drake U'u, Cal Poly started a different lineup for the first time in nine games. The Mustangs have lost six straight against the 49ers.
Long Beach State produced Cal Poly opponent season highs for three-point percentage (72.7) and field goal percentage (59.0) but the 49ers' 22 rebounds are the second lowest against the Mustangs this year.
Hanson leads Cal Poly with 14 double-digit scoring games while Fermin produced his 13th double-digit game of the season Thursday.
Cal Poly, 5-2 following a loss this season, will host Cal State Northridge (5-11, 2-4 Big West) on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. in Mott Gym. The game will be televised by Fox PRIME Ticket. The Matadors fell 69-61 at UC Santa Barbara earlier Thursday night.