DAVIS – Senior guard David Nwaba (above) scored a team high 15 points and senior forward Brian Bennett added 10, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program trailed from the onset versus UC Davis Saturday evening inside The Pavilion and fell, 66-52.
Nwaba added a team best six rebounds for Cal Poly (8-12, 2-5), which shot 43.1 (22-for-51) percent, but failed to bridge any of its four two-point gaps or score for the final four minutes in falling at UC Davis for a fourth successive season. UC Davis (9-11, 4-3), which grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and committed just six turnovers, shot 45.6 (26-for-57) percent itself.
The Mustangs also received eight points and five rebounds from sophomore forward Luke Meikle.
Cal Poly returns to Mott Athletics Center to open a two-game home stand versus Big West Conference-leading UC Irvine on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.
Three baskets from junior center Neal Monson and a three-pointer by freshman guard Siler Schneider provided UC Davis a 9-0 lead inside the opening two-and-a-half minutes. The Mustangs eventually recovered with a three-pointer from freshman forward Josh Martin trimming Cal Poly's deficit to 11-7. Cal Poly, however, was limited to just two three-pointers during an ensuing eight-minute span and found itself trailing 23-13 eight minutes before halftime.
Cal Poly, which shot 50.0 (11-for-22) percent from the floor during the first half, utilized a three-pointer from junior guard Ridge Shipley four minutes before the break to pull within 28-22 of the Aggies. The Mustangs then kept UC Davis to just one field goal the remainder of the half and, with Bennett hitting a layup with a second to play before the break, trailed 31-28 at halftime.
Held under 30 points at the break for the first time in seven games, Cal Poly twice moved within two points of UC Davis through back-to-back Nwaba layups. Trailing 37-35, however, the Mustangs conceded a 7-0 run and fell behind 44-35 with 11-and-a-half minutes remaining.
Through the second of Meikle's two three-pointers and a layup by sophomore guard Taylor Sutlive, Cal Poly once more cut down a nine-point UC Davis lead. Four more times the Mustangs moved within four points of the Aggies but, still down 56-52 with four minutes to play, Cal Poly finished the evening 0-for-7 from the floor.
Photo courtesy of Kim Sutlive.