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Cal Poly on Downside of 82-61 Decision at No. 14/15 Oregon

Cal Poly on Downside of 82-61 Decision at No. 14/15 Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. – Sophomore forward Brian Bennett (right) scored a team-high 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds and freshman guard Ridge Shipley scored a career-high nine, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program – facing the fourth highest ranked opponent in program history – couldn't bridge a first-half deficit at No. 14/15 Oregon and fell to the Ducks in the finale of the Global Sports Hardwood Challenge at Matthew Knight Arena, 82-61.

Junior guard Maliik Love and sophomore wing David Nwaba both finished with nine points for Cal Poly (2-5), which shot 40.0 (22-for-55) percent from the floor, but allowed a 48.0 (24-for-50) percent clip to Oregon (7-0) and a 47.4 (9-for-19) percent mark from three-point range. 

A Kyle Odister jumper forced an early 7-7 scoreline for Cal Poly, but Oregon exploded for a 13-2 run during a three-and-a-half minute span to lead 20-9 after just seven minutes.

Cal Poly countered from the three-point line with sophomore forward Joel Awich sinking from the right corner and Shipley connecting from the top of the arc to cut the Mustang deficit to 22-15 with 11 minutes remaining in the half. 

However, the Ducks – which opened the night 7-for-11 from three-point range – received three from senior guard Jonathan Loyd during a five-and-a-half minute span as part of a 14-3 run that doubled Oregon's lead to 36-18 five minutes before the break.

Still trailing 38-23 with three minutes remaining in the half, Cal Poly utilized a three-point play and lay-in from Bennett and a dunk and layup from Nwaba to construct a 9-2 run and draw within eight of Oregon. The Ducks, however, took a 44-32 lead into the break. 

A dunk from senior forward Chris Eversley to open the second half cut Cal Poly's chasm to 10 points, but that was a close as the Mustangs would close the rest of the night. Following the Eversley dunk, Cal Poly chalked up just two field goals in a six-minute span and quickly trailed 55-40. Oregon followed with an 18-5 run to further put the contest out of reach.

With the loss, Cal Poly finished 1-2 at the Global Sports Hardwood Challenge following a Friday victory against North Dakota (70-43) and a Saturday loss versus Pacific (73-71). 

Cal Poly opens a two-game home stand inside the Mott Athletics Center when welcoming Santa Clara for a 7 p.m. matchup on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Broncos (2-4) won last year's Dec. 17 matchup between the two sides in Santa Clara, 72-64, and lead the all-time series, 4-1.