LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Senior forward Chris Eversley (right) scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program conceded a massive second-half run to Loyola Marymount on Tuesday evening inside Gersten Pavilion and opened a season-long four-game road trip with a 79-59 defeat.
Sophomore wing David Nwaba added eight points, five rebounds and four steals for Cal Poly (4-6), which found itself tied with Loyola Marymount (7-5) with 13-and-a-half minutes to play before being held to just two field goals during a 10-minute span. The Lions, who featured five players in double-digit scoring figures, shot 49.1 (26-for-53) percent from the floor and limited Cal Poly to a 38.3 (23-60) clip.
Cal Poly continues its four-game road trip when visiting Pitt on Saturday, Dec. 21. Tip time inside the Petersen Events Center is set for 1 p.m. PT with the matchup broadcasted via ESPN3.
A three-pointer from senior guard Kyle Odister and layup from sophomore forward Brian Bennett provided Cal Poly the lead inside 27 seconds, but the Lions – who shot 69.2 percent during the opening seven minutes – countered with a 20-5 run to quickly double the Mustang deficit.
Cal Poly, held to just three field goals during an 11-minute span following the opening scoring spree, found itself still trailing 24-12 before reeling off a quick 6-0 run to climb back into the matchup. Still down 28-18 six-and-a-half minutes before halftime, the Mustangs received jumpers from Eversley on three successive possessions before the senior buried a three-pointer and two free throws to cement a 13-2 run that handed Cal Poly a 31-30 lead.
Courtesy, however, of a three-pointer from freshman guard Evan Payne a minute before halftime, the Lions reclaimed a 33-31 advantage at the break.
Thrice the Mustangs deadlocked the scoreline early in the second half but, square at 44-44 with 13-and-half minutes to play, Cal Poly conceded a 23-6 run to the Lions as Loyola Marymount went up 67-50. Cal Poly closed to within fewer than 15 points of the Loyola Marymount lead just once the remainder of the evening.