Late Cal Poly Comeback Fended Off by Long Beach State

Late Cal Poly Comeback Fended Off by Long Beach State

LONG BEACH – Senior Marcellus Garrick (above) scored a career high 30 points and fellow guard Donovan Fields added 27, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program never led inside Walter Pyramid Saturday evening and dropped a 94-85 decision to the 49ers.

Sophomore wing Mark Crowe added 13 points for Cal Poly (6-21, 2-12), which outrebounded Long Beach State, 43-34, and shot 80.8 (21-for-26) percent from the free throw line.

Trailing Long Beach State, 78-59, with five-and-a-half minutes to play, Cal Poly rolled off a 14-4 run to trim the deficit to 82-73. Cal Poly closed its gap to nine points four more times during the final two minutes, but Long Beach State (13-18, 7-8) knocked down 10 of its final 12 free throw attempts to fend off the late Mustang comeback.

Sophomore forward Karlis Garoza grabbed a game high 10 rebounds for Cal Poly, which held Long Beach State to a 15.4 (2-for-13) percent three-point mark.

Cal Poly closes the 2018-19 regular season at home inside Mott Athletics Center versus UC Irvine (Thursday, March 7) and UC Santa Barbara (Saturday, March 9). Both games tip at 7 p.m.

During Saturday's matchup, Cal Poly found itself trailing 10-2 after the opening four minutes after Long Beach State began the game with five successive layups. The Mustangs though recovered and pulled within two points of the 49ers after holding Long Beach State scoreless for a three-minute stretch.

Long Beach State, however, responded with a 12-4 run to grab the game's first double-digit lead at 22-12 with nine-and-a-half minutes remaining in the opening period.

Still trailing 27-14 two minutes later, Cal Poly compiled a 9-0 run backboned by seven successive Garrick points to close the deficit to 27-23. The 49ers, however, scored 11 of the next 15 points and took a 40-31 lead into the break.

The 49ers twice extended their lead to 13 points early in the second half but, with Cal Poly facing a 46-33 deficit, the Mustangs received a Garoza layup, two Fields buckets and two Garrick free throws to draw within five.

Long Beach State, however, ran off a 17-7 run over a six-minute span to push the advantage to 63-48 with nine-and-a-half minutes remaining.