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Mustangs Fall in Regular Season Final; No. 7 Seed for Big West Tournament

Mustangs Fall in Regular Season Final; No. 7 Seed for Big West Tournament



SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Senior forward Chris Eversley scored a team-leading 14 points in his final contest inside the Mott Athletics Center on Saturday evening, but a massive run from Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara to close the first half doomed the Cal Poly men's basketball program as the Mustangs closed the regular season with a 71-55 loss against the Gauchos.

Freshman guard Ridge Shipley added eight points for Cal Poly (10-19, 6-10), which slipped to the No. 7 seed for the 2014 Big West Conference Tournament with Saturday's loss. The Mustangs will open tournament play against the second-seeded Gauchos (21-8, 12-4) on Thursday, March 13. Tip time for the quarterfinal round matchup inside the Honda Center in Anaheim is set for 12 noon with action televised live on Fox Prime Ticket.

Keyed by three early three-pointers, UC Santa Barbara leapt out to a 15-6 lead on Saturday after five-and-a-half minutes. Three-pointers, however, by Eversley and juniors Michael Bolden and Anthony Silvestri all backboned a 12-3 Mustang run as Cal Poly squared the scoreline at 18-18 with nine-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half.

UC Santa Barbara, which held Cal Poly to a 29.8 (17-for-57) percent field goal mark on Saturday, countered by keeping the Mustangs scoreless for seven minutes. The 15-0 run placed UC Santa Barbara in a 33-18 ascendancy and the Gauchos kept the 15-point barrier heading into halftime.

Cal Poly, which conceded a 55.6 (25-for-45) percent field goal figure to UC Santa Barbara, closed within 15 points of the Gaucho lead just once the remainder of the night.

Sophomore wing David Nwaba grabbed a team-leading six rebounds for Cal Poly.