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Long Beach State Edges Cal Poly in Big West Game, 63-62

Long Beach State Edges Cal Poly in Big West Game, 63-62


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Junior guard Tyler Lamb tallied 20 points and Long Beach State used a 17-0 first-half run to beat Cal Poly 63-62 in a Big West Conference men's basketball game Saturday night before 2,924 in the Mott Athletics Center.

A potential game-winning last-second 17-foot shot from just above the free-throw line by Mustang senior guard Jamal Johnson (pictured at right) caromed off the back of the rim at the buzzer.

The loss was Cal Poly's first in the Big West this season, snapped a 16-game Mustang winning streak in home conference games and dropped Cal Poly to 7-10 on the year and 3-1 in Big West play. Long Beach State improved to 6-12 and 2-2.

Cal Poly scored the first six points of the game and built a 19-9 advantage as senior forward Chris Eversley scored on a dunk off an offensive rebound with 11:05 to play in the first half.

Long Beach State scored the next 17 points of the game over a span of 8 minutes, 12 seconds, to take a 26-19 lead with 2:53 to go. Junior guard Kris Gulley capped the run with a three-pointer, his only points of the game.

Cal Poly, which missed eight floor shots and one free throw and turned the ball over three times during the drought, closed the gap to 32-29 at the break as Johnson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Long Beach State led throughout the second half. The 49ers accumulated an 11-point advantage at 56-45 with 8:10 to play and were still ahead 62-52 with 2:49 to go before Cal Poly mounted a last charge. A three-pointer by Eversley with 13.1 seconds to play capped a 10-1 Mustang run and pulled the Mustangs to within one point at 63-62.

Junior guard Mike Caffey missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with five seconds to play. Johnson grabbed the rebound for Cal Poly and dribbled into the half-circle above the free-throw line in the front court, but his pullup last-second shot was a little too strong as the horn sounded.

Eversley led Cal Poly in scoring with 16 points, his 11th double-digit game of the season, and senior guard Kyle Odister added 10, all in the second half.

Long Beach State grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and compiled a 41-28 advantage on the boards, led by senior forward Dan Jennings with 11 off the bench. Lamb added nine boards for the 49ers.

Eversley and sophomore wing David Nwaba each had six rebounds for Cal Poly.

Johnson contributed four assists and Eversley had three steals for the Mustangs, who last lost a Big West game at home two years ago. It was the 49ers who last beat the Mustangs in the Mott Athletics Center as well, a 78-69 49er victory on Jan. 19, 2012.

The sellout crowd was the largest in more than two years in the Mott Athletics Center, a span of 28 games. The Mustangs and UC Santa Barbara drew 3,032 on Jan. 2, 2012.

Cal Poly plays its next two Big West games on the road, visiting Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night and UC Riverside on Saturday night. Both games tip at 7 p.m.