Cal Poly extended its mastery over Hawaii in the Big West Conference season opener for both teams, as the Mustangs defeated the Rainbow Warriors 77-65 tonight in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
UH (11-4, 0-1 BWC) saw its four-game winning streak snapped as it narrowly avoided its season low in points.
The Mustangs (5-9, 1-0) took it to UH at the start of both halves and defeated the ‘Bows for the fifth straight time, including all four meetings under UH coach Gib Arnold. UH is 0-3 all-time at Poly’s Mott Athletics Center, including a 29-point defeat last season.
UH trimmed an 18-point first-half deficit in half to 41-32 at halftime by closing the period on a 12-3 run.
But the Mustangs scored the first six points of the second half to go back up 15, and UH trailed by double digits the rest of the way.
UH shot only 4-for-19 on 3-pointers, including 1-for-10 in the second half. Meanwhile, Poly shot 8-for-19 (42 percent) from deep and 50 percent overall.
Junior guard Garrett Nevels led UH with 16 points. Forwards Christian Standhardinger and Isaac Fotu combined for 28 points.
But UH starting point guard Keith Shamburger was held scoreless. Backup guard Quincy Smith scored seven points and dished a career-high seven assists in the loss.
Cal Poly snapped a four-game slide heading into conference play. It led the entire way after jumping out to a 10-2 lead. The Mustangs kept pouring it only early, going up 21-6 on a 3 by Chris Eversley.
Taylor Sutlive nailed a 3 to push Poly’s lead back to 60-45 with eight minutes left, and it grew to 18 with four minutes to go.
Poly’s Eversley made five of his first seven shots and finished with 17 points on 7-for-15 shooting, while grabbing nine rebounds. Forward David Nwaba added 17 points for the hosts on 8-for-12 shooting. Point guard Jamal Johnson had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Cal Poly connected on its first four 3-pointers and six of its first nine in taking a 30-15 lead. The lead grew to its largest at 38-20.
UH continues play at Cal State Northridge (9-7, 1-0) on Saturday.