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Cal Poly Leads Wire to Wire in 77-65 Win Over Hawai’i

Cal Poly Leads Wire to Wire in 77-65 Win Over Hawai’i

POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO | CHRIS EVERSLEY | DAVID NWABA

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Senior forward Chris Eversley and sophomore wing David Nwaba each tallied 17 points and led a quartet of double-digit scorers for Cal Poly as the Mustangs scored the first five points and never looked back in a wire-to-wire 77-65 victory over Hawai'i in a Big West Conference men's basketball opener for both schools Thursday night before 2,559 in the Mott Athletics Center.

Senior guard Jamal Johnson added a career-high 15 points, 10 in the second half, and senior guard Kyle Odister tallied 12 as Cal Poly snapped a four-game losing streak and, playing at home for the first time in 26 days, improved to 5-9 on the year.

Hawai'i, led by junior guard Garrett Nevels with 16 points, fell to 11-4. Senior forward Christian Standhardinger added 15 points and sophomore forward Isaac Fotu had 13. The Warriors, who had won nine of their last 10 contests, have lost five straight games to Cal Poly and are 0-3 in the Mott Athletics Center.

In winning its 15th straight Big West home game, Cal Poly made 50 percent of its floor shots (28 of 56), its second-best performance of the season. The Mustangs made 56.9 percent against North Dakota on Nov. 29 in Eugene, Oregon. Cal Poly was 8-for-19 from three-point range Thursday night.

Hawai'i was held to 45.6 percent shooting from the floor (26 of 57), sinking only four of 19 three-pointers.

Cal Poly outrebounded the visiting Warriors, 33-31, paced by Eversley with nine. Eversley (pictured above) scored in double figures for a team-leading ninth time this season and for the 43rd time in his Mustang career.

Nwaba, also scoring in double figures for the ninth time this season, made eight of his 12 floor shots and contributed five rebounds. Cal Poly produced four double-digit scorers in a game for the first time this year.

Cal Poly, which has won 16 of its last 17 home games, sprinted to a 12-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game and was up by 18 at 38-20 on a jumper by Nwaba with 5:01 to play in the first half. Hawai'i closed out the half with a 12-3 run to trim the deficit to nine at 41-32.

Awich made a free throw to open the second half and Cal Poly enjoyed a double-digit lead the rest of the way, opening up another 18-point advantage at 71-53 with 3:39 to go on a pair of free throws by Awich.

Johnson and Eversley contributed six assists each -- a career high for Eversley -- and Eversley also pitched in three steals and a pair of blocked shots for Cal Poly. The Mustangs' 18 assists matched their team high for the season.

The Mustangs continue Big West play Saturday at UC Santa Barbara, with the Blue-Green Rivalry game starting at 4 p.m.