LONG BEACH – Guards Ridge Shipley (above) and Victor Joseph each finished with 17 points as the Cal Poly men's basketball program earned its first victory inside Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid in seven seasons with a 78-71 triumph on Thursday evening.
Junior forward Luke Meikle recorded his second career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds for
Cal Poly (9-18, 4-9), which snapped a six-game slide inside Walter Pyramid and secured the program's first win at Long Beach State (13-17, 8-6) since Jan. 16, 2010 by sinking 13 three-pointers. The Mustangs, who shot 41.0 (25-for-61) percent from the floor and 40.6 (13-for-32) percent from three-point range, also received 14 points from sophomore guard Donovan Fields.
Cal Poly, which led Long Beach State for the final 25 minutes, received 10 rebounds from sophomore forward Aleks Abrams while Shipley – who was 6-for-7 from the floor – distributed a game high six assists.
Cal Poly closes a two-game road trip – and plays its final road game of the regular season – at UC Riverside on Saturday, Feb. 25. Tip time is 5 p.m. with action televised on FOX Prime Ticket.
Held to a solitary Joseph three-pointer during the opening five minutes, Cal Poly found itself trailing 14-3 with Long Beach State sophomore forward Temidayo Yussuf notching seven early points.
Cal Poly, however, rectified its 1-for-8 start from the floor as Shipley converted a layup and sank a three-pointer before Joseph hit his second three-pointer of the evening – all in a 61-second span – to cut the gap to 14-11.
Twice Cal Poly closed within two points of Long Beach State's lead before a three-pointer by senior guard Kyle Toth placed Cal Poly in front at 22-21 with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the opening half.
A free throw by 49ers junior forward Roschon Prince allowed Long Beach State to briefly deadlock the game at 22-22, but the Mustangs held their hosts to just one field goal during an ensuing five-minute span. Cal Poly then closed the half with a 7-0 run during the final 84 seconds to lead at the break, 41-30.
Long Beach State returned in the second half to keep Cal Poly without a field goal for the opening five minutes. Despite the drought, a Fields three-pointer kept Cal Poly out front, 47-41.
Long Beach State moved within a single possession of Cal Poly's lead just once more at 52-49 with 12 minutes remaining.
The Mustangs, however, summarily received a Shipley jumper and three-pointer from sophomore forward Kuba Niziol to go up 57-49 and the 49ers never drew closer than four points the rest of the night.