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Second-Half Hawai’i Run Sends Cal Poly Men’s Basketball to 74-65 Defeat

HONOLULU, O'ahu – Senior guard Ridge Shipley (above) scored a team high 19 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program – despite closing a seven-point halftime deficit Thursday evening – never led versus Hawai'i inside the Stan Sheriff Center and dropped a 74-65 decision.

Junior guard Victor Joseph added 13 points for Cal Poly (7-17, 2-8), which trailed Hawai'i (12-11, 2-8) 38-31 at halftime before knocking down three three-pointers inside the opening three minutes of the second half. The Mustangs, however, were held to just one field goal during the ensuing seven minutes and quickly trailed by double digits.

Cal Poly shot just 39.1 (18-for-46) percent from the floor and matched a season high with 16 turnovers. Hawai'i, meanwhile, finished with a 50.9 (29-for-57) percent mark and outscored Cal Poly in the paint, 46-10.

Sophomore guard Donovan Fields finished with 11 points for Cal Poly while sophomore forward Kuba Niziol added 10.

Cal Poly closes its two-game road trip at CSUN on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

A jumper from senior guard Kyle Toth four minutes into action cut Hawai'i's early lead to 8-6, but the Warriors – aided by three Cal Poly turnovers inside six minutes and nine early points from guard Noah Allen – answered with a 10-2 run to go up 18-8 with 13-and-a-half minutes remaining in the opening half.

Cal Poly trimmed Hawai'i's lead to single digits seven times the remainder of the first half, but drew no closer than seven points – the second instance coming after Shipley knocked down two free throws 76 seconds prior to halftime.

Facing the same deficit heading into the break, Cal Poly opened the second half with Joseph knocking down three-pointers on successive possessions before Niziol – who made his first career start Thursday – deadlocked the matchup at 40-40 with the first of his two three-pointers.

The Warriors chalked up the next three baskets to affirm a six-point advantage before two more Shipley free throws and a Joseph jumper brought Cal Poly within two points of Hawai'i with 14-and-a-half minutes to go.

Hawai'i, however, kept Cal Poly scoreless for the next four minutes and, through a 10-0 run, the Warriors stretched their lead to 56-44 with 10 minutes remaining.

Cal Poly closed within eight points of Hawai'i's lead twice down the stretch, but drew no closer.