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Cal Poly Men’s Basketball Team Leads Early, but Outdistanced at Cal

Sophomore forward Aleks Abrams grabbed a career high 16 rebounds at California (Dec. 17, 2016).
Sophomore forward Aleks Abrams grabbed a career high 16 rebounds at California (Dec. 17, 2016).
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BERKELEY – Senior guard Kyle Toth scored a team leading 14 points and sophomore forward Aleks Abrams (above) grabbed a career high 16 rebounds, but a 21-3 run by California to close the first half dealt the Cal Poly men's basketball program a double-digit deficit they couldn't recover from as the Mustangs were outdistanced inside Haas Pavilion Saturday afternoon, 81-55.

Guards Ridge Shipley and Victor Joseph each finished with 12 points for Cal Poly (5-6), which knocked down seven three-pointers. Cal Poly, however, conceded a 55.6 (10-for-18) percent three-point mark to California (9-2) and an overall 53.4 (31-for-58) percent field goal figure.

Alongside sophomore forward Luke Meikle, Abrams also added a career high eight points.

Nine of the 16 boards pulled down by Abrams came on the offensive end while the 16-rebound total marked the second highest amount by a Big West Conference player this season and is eclipsed only by teammate Josh Martin's 21-rebound performance at Pepperdine on Nov. 11

Cal Poly continues its five-game road trip with an 8 p.m. matchup at Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Action will be televised nationally on Pac-12 Network.

Held to a 0-for-8 start from the floor and scoreless until Toth knocked down the first of his game high four three-pointers, Cal Poly found itself trailing early, 10-3.

The Mustangs, however, hit three of their next four shots – a stretch that included two Joseph three-pointers – to tie the game at 11-11. Toth then sank two more three-pointers as Cal Poly – as part of a 16-3, six-minute run – grabbed a 19-13 lead eight minutes before the break.

The Golden Bears responded by limiting Cal Poly to just one field goal the remainder of the half. An Abrams putback provided Cal Poly a brief 21-20 lead with four-and-a-half minutes remaining in the half, but the Mustangs received just a solitary Abrams field goal the rest of the way and trailed 34-22 at the break.

Meikle sank two jumpers for Cal Poly inside the opening two minutes of the second half, but California began the second period 5-for-5 from the floor to retain its double-digit lead.

The Mustangs were able to shorten their deficit to 55-42 following a Shipley jumper with nine-and-a-half minutes to play, but drew no closer the remaining of the evening.