TUCSON, Ariz. – Senior guard Marcellus Garrick led the Cal Poly men's basketball program with 16 points on Sunday afternoon, but a 20-0, seven-minute run from Arizona midway through the second half sent the Mustangs to an 82-61 defeat inside McKale Center.
Senior forward Kuba Niziol added nine points for Cal Poly (1-1), which twice cut its deficit to four points early in the second half before being kept scoreless for the seven-minute span.
Sophomore forward Mark Crowe (above) led Cal Poly with five rebounds.
Cal Poly's seven-game road trip – the program's lengthiest in four seasons – continues on Friday, Nov. 16 versus Sacramento State. Tip-off time is 6 p.m.
In the first meeting between the two programs in five years and just the fourth overall matchup, a layup from forward Ira Lee provided the Wildcats an early 12-7 lead. The Mustangs though responded with a Garrick three-pointer and a layup from senior guard Donovan Fields to tie the game with 11-and-a-half minutes remaining in the opening half.
Arizona then required all of two minutes to sprint out to a 19-12 lead. Cal Poly trimmed its deficit to four points twice during the remainder of the first half with the second instance coming at 35-31 three minutes before the break on a dunk from freshman forward Tuukka Jaakkola. Garrick's third three-pointer of the opening half brought Cal Poly to a 39-34 deficit with 81 seconds left, but Arizona center Chase Jeter's layup in the final minute placed the Wildcats up at half, 41-34.
The Mustangs twice more moved within four points of Arizona's lead early in the second half through a Niziol three-pointer and a Garrick jumper. Cal Poly, however, committed four of its 17 turnovers inside the opening four minutes of the second half to help fuel the 20-0 Arizona run that left the Mustangs in a 63-39 deficit with 12 minutes to play.
Photo courtesy of Chris Hook