BIG WEST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT BRACKET (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Sophomore guard Donovan Fields (above) scored a team high 10 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program trailed UC Santa Barbara for the final 34 minutes of Saturday's matchup and dropped its regular season finale to the Gauchos inside Mott Athletics Center, 57-44.
Senior forward Zach Gordon grabbed a team leading nine rebounds for Cal Poly (11-19, 6-10), which finished as the No. 7 seed for the March 9-11 Big West Conference Tournament at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Mustangs will open the Big West Tournament versus second-seeded UC Davis (19-11, 11-5) in a 12 noon quarterfinal matchup on Thursday, March 9.
The Mustangs and Aggies split their 2016-17 regular season series with each program winning at home.
Senior guard Ridge Shipley and junior forward Luke Meikle each finished with eight points for the Mustangs, who limited UC Santa Barbara (6-22, 4-12) to a 39.0 (23-for-59) percent field goal mark, but shot just 30.5 (18-for-59) percent themselves and knocked down only eight of 32 three-point attempts.
With four lead changes occurring inside the opening five minutes of Saturday's matchup, UC Santa Barbara eventually wrested control of the scoreline at 9-8 following a jumper from guard Eric Childress.
The Gauchos then kept Cal Poly to just one field goal during a seven-minute span to push their lead to 21-15.
Sophomore guard Trevor John snapped Cal Poly's stretch with a three-pointer, but UC Santa Barbara twice led by as much as seven points down the stretch before taking a 27-23 advantage into halftime.
Meikle nailed a jumper to open the second half, but the Gauchos responded with a 16-2 run to lead 43-27 with 12 minutes to play.
Cal Poly closed within single digits of UC Santa Barbara's lead just once the remainder of the evening.