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Cal Poly Pulls Away in Second Half to Beat Santa Clara, 64-53

Cal Poly Pulls Away in Second Half to Beat Santa Clara, 64-53

POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO | DAVID NWABA | CHRIS EVERSLEY

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Sophomore Dave Nwaba scored a career-high 21 points and senior Chris Eversley matched his career high for rebounds with 15 as Cal Poly defeated Santa Clara 64-53 in a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday night before 2,016 in the Mott Athletics Center.

Nwaba (pictured at right), Cal Poly's lone double-digit scorer, made eight of 16 floor shots and five of nine free throws. His dunk with 3:58 to play off an assist from Kyle Odister gave Cal Poly a nine-point lead at 52-43 and sparked a decisive 9-0 Mustang run. Nwaba has scored in double figures in seven of Cal Poly's eight games this season.

Eversley tallied nine points while Brian Bennett and Odister each produced eight points for Cal Poly (3-5).

Santa Clara, paced by Brandon Clark and Evan Roquemore, each with 12 points, and Nate Kratch with 11, fell to 3-5.

After four lead changes in the first 16 minutes of the game, Cal Poly scored the final eight points of the first half to turn a 23-21 deficit into a 29-23 advantage at the break.

Santa Clara was within six points at 47-41 with 5:10 to play before Cal Poly pulled away.

Cal Poly made 43 percent of its floor shots (23 of 53) and outrebounded the visiting Broncos 42-31. The Mustangs turned the ball over 11 times, one fewer than Santa Clara.

The Broncos were held to 38 percent shooting from the floor (19 of 50) and could connect on just four of 20 three-pointers.

Cal Poly, winning at home for the 14th time in its last 15 games, received four assists from Maliik Love, four steals from Jamal Johnson and six rebounds from Nwaba.

For Santa Clara, Jerry Brown pulled down nine rebounds while Kratch had seven. Clark contributed five assists.

After a break for Fall Quarter finals, Cal Poly returns to the Mott Athletics Center floor next Saturday, hosting Cal State Dominguez Hills for a 7 p.m. non-conference game.

Photo courtesy of Reese Andrea Photography