POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO | CHRIS EVERSLEY | KYLE ODISTER
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Junior forward Chris Eversley's third double-double of the season and fifth of his career -- 14 points and 12 rebounds -- lifted the Cal Poly men's basketball team to a 60-57 victory over NCAA Division II Eastern New Mexico in a non-conference game Friday night in Mott Gym.
Freshman forward Brian Bennett added 11 points -- his fifth straight double-digit scoring game -- and junior guard Kyle Odister tallied 10 points off the bench as the Mustangs evened their record at 4-4.
Eastern New Mexico (5-5) was led by junior guard Rodney Blackmon with 22 points. Junior guard Rafael Love added 12 points for the visiting Greyhounds.
The lead changed hands nine times in the first half -- neither team leading by more than five points -- and junior guard Kyle Lantz's layup with 35 seconds left gave Eastern New Mexico a 29-28 edge at the break.
After three more lead changes early in the second half, Cal Poly gained the upper hand for good at 43-42 on a three-pointer by Odister with 12:41 remaining. Odister's layup with 10:36 to go capped an 8-0 Mustang run and gave Cal Poly a 46-42 lead.
The Mustangs led by as many as six points down the stretch. A pair of free throws by Love trimmed Cal Poly's lead to one point, 58-57, with a minute to play, but Eversley's layup with 31 seconds to go re-established a three-point Cal Poly lead and neither team scored again as the Greyhounds missed one free throw and two jump shots.
The 12 total lead changes in the game were in stark contrast to Cal Poly's last three games in which the winning team led wire to wire. The Mustangs beat Menlo College on Dec. 8 and fell to Saint Mary's on Dec. 1 and Nevada on Dec. 11.
Cal Poly made 38 percent of its floor shots, including six of 21 from three-point range, while Eastern New Mexico connected on 42 percent of its field goal attempts, hitting six of 18 long-range shots.
Cal Poly made 10 of 14 free throws while Eastern New Mexico attempted just six free throws, making five.
There were only 15 turnovers in the game -- eight by the host Mustangs -- and Cal Poly outrebounded Eastern New Mexico 41-30. In addition to the 12 boards by Eversley (pictured above), Bennett grabbed six and junior guard Jamal Johnson five to go with five assists and three steals. Eversley had four assists.
Mustang senior guard Chris O'Brien, who made just one turnover in Cal Poly's first seven games this season, committed two turnovers in the first three minutes Friday and finished with four miscues.
Cal Poly plays its next three games on the road, visiting Santa Clara on Monday and Washington on Thursday before opening Big West Conference play Dec. 29 at UC Riverside.
Double-Double by Eversley Lifts Cal Poly Over Eastern New Mexico, 60-57
|Eastern New Mexico (5-5)||29||28||57|
|Cal Poly (4-4)||28||32||60|