DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Junior forward Josh Martin produced his fourth career double-double with a career high 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Cal Poly men's basketball program Tuesday evening, but the Mustangs – after trimming a second-half deficit from 16 points to three against Bethune-Cookman – couldn't bridge the final gap and dropped a 67-53 decision inside Moore Gymnasium.
Junior guard Donovan Fields added 15 points for Cal Poly (4-6), which trailed Bethune-Cookman 35-31 at halftime before slipping to a 54-38 deficit with 10-and-a-half minutes remaining. The Mustangs, however, produced a 14-1 run kickstarted by a three-pointer from senior guard Victor Joseph and trimmed Bethune-Cookman's lead to 55-52 with five minutes to play.
Limited to just the solitary free throw during Cal Poly's charge, however, the Wildcats received a pair of free throws from forward Shawntrez Davis to stem the Mustang run. A Martin free throw brought the deficit down to 57-53, but Bethune-Cookman enjoyed a layup by guard Malik Maitland before Davis hit a jumper on the way to the Wildcats increasing their lead to double digits down the stretch.
Joseph added 10 points for Cal Poly, which committed just nine turnovers.
During the first all-time meeting between the two programs and in the Cal Poly program's first game in the state of Florida, the Mustangs faced an early 8-2 deficit before three-pointers from Joseph and Martin helped tie the matchup for the only time at 12-12. The Mustangs, who knocked down just one more three-pointer the remainder of the evening, trailed by as much as seven points in the first half prior to the 35-31 halftime deficit.
Cal Poly returns to Mott Athletics Center to host defending Ivy League champion Princeton on Saturday, Dec. 16. Tip time is 7 p.m.