POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO | DAVID NWABA | BRIAN BENNETT
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Junior forward Brian Bennett and junior wing David Nwaba each scored 13 points as Cal Poly defeated San Francisco State 65-44 in the Mustangs' home men's basketball opener Tuesday night in the Mott Athletics Center.
Junior forward Joel Awich added 10 points as Coach Joe Callero's Mustangs improved to 1-1 on the year.
San Francisco State, led by sophomore forward Derrick Brown's 15 points off the bench, fell to 0-1.
Cal Poly scored the first eight points of the game -- Bennett tallied the first six -- as San Francisco State missed its first eight floor shots. The Mustangs led by as many as 13 points in the first half, settling for a 32-20 advantage at the break.
Trailing 46-30, the visiting Gators put together a 10-2 run to pull to within eight points at 48-40 with 11:02 to play. Brown capped the surge with a three-pointer.
Cal Poly then outscored San Francisco State 17-3 over the next six minutes, building a 65-43 cushion with 4:46 to play on a three-pointer by junior guard Kyle Toth.
After a free throw by Gator freshman guard Chiefy Ugbaja with 4:10 to play, neither team scored the rest of the way.
Cal Poly made 45.5 percent of its floor shots while holding San Francisco State to just 30 percent. The Mustangs also took advantage of 18 Gator personal fouls, sinking 20 of 24 free throws (83.3 percent). San Francisco State made just eight of 17 free throws.
Cal Poly outrebounded San Francisco State 37-29, paced by Bennett, Nwaba and junior guard Reese Morgan, all with seven boards. Senior forward Udon Osakue grabbed five rebounds for the Gators.
Bennett (pictured above) produced his highest scoring total since tallying 16 against North Dakota on Nov. 29, 2013. The Mustangs are 40-1 against non-Division I schools since moving to Division I prior to the 1994-95 season.
Cal Poly, which has won six of its last seven non-conference home games, remains home for its next game Friday night, hosting fellow NCAA Tournament participant Delaware for a 7 p.m. non-conference game in the Mott Athletics Center.
Photo of Brian Bennett courtesy of Ray Ambler | RA Photos