POSTGAME REACTION: JOE CALLERO
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Senior forward Chris Eversley (right) secured his third double-double of the year with a 17-point, 11- rebound performance as the Cal Poly men's basketball program fended off a late Cal State Northridge surge to post a 62-55 triumph inside the Matadome on Thursday evening.
Senior guard Kyle Odister sank four three-pointers for the second successive game to finish with 14 points for Cal Poly (9-14, 5-5), which held Cal State Northridge (12-14, 4-7) to a 36.4 (20-for-55) percent shooting mark in posting a fourth successive victory against the Matadors. Sophomore forwards Joel Awich (seven) and Zach Gordon (six) both matched career rebounding highs for Cal Poly, which snapped a four-game slide by keeping the Matadors to an 18.2 (2-for-11) percent mark from three-point range.
Cal Poly completes a three-game road trip at Long Beach State on Saturday, Feb. 15. Tip time inside Walter Pyramid is 7:30 p.m. with the matchup televised live on Fox Prime Ticket. Long Beach State (10-14, 6-4) slipped to fourth place in the Big West standings – one game ahead of Cal Poly – following a last-second, 65-64 loss against UC Santa Barbara (16-6, 7-2) earlier Thursday.
In a matchup Cal Poly led wire-to-wire, the Mustangs produced a 16-9 lead eight minutes into action following the second of Odister's four three-pointers. Junior wing Michael Bolden then added a three-pointer – his first points in Big West action – to push Cal Poly's lead into double digits.
Cal State Northridge, limited to a 33.3 percent (4-for-12) shooting start, quickly closed to within six points of Cal Poly's lead before layups from senior guard Jamal Johnson and Eversley brought the advantage back to double digits.
However, trailing 25-14 six minutes before halftime, the Matadors made up seven points of their deficit in less than two minutes. Cal Poly stretched its lead to eight points once more down the stretch, but a layup by senior guard Josh Greene with one second to play kept the Mustang lead at 31-25 at the break.
Leading 38-30 following a pair of free throws from sophomore wing David Nwaba, Cal Poly was held to a single Odister three-pointer as the Matadors clawed back to within three points with 14 minutes remaining.
Cal Poly, however, once again was able to briefly break away from the Matadors, this time compiling a 10-2 run over five-and-a-half minutes to go up 51-40.
The Mustangs though would have to fend off one final charge from the Matadors. A 9-1 Cal State Northridge run slimmed Cal Poly's lead to 52-49 with four minutes to play. Cal Poly twice increased its lead to six points, but a pair of free throws apiece from junior forward Stephen Maxwell and junior guard Stephan Hicks brought the Matadors to within two with two minutes to play.
After Mustang freshman guard Ridge Shipley missed a layup on the ensuing possession, a potential game-tying layup by Greene was nullified with a Matador basket interference call.
Following a Matador foul, Odister knocked down two free throws to keep Cal Poly up while Shipley sank one and Eversley converted two in the final minute to cement the victory.