MORAGA – Junior wing David Nwaba (right) scored a season-high 19 points, but Saint Mary's connected on 15 three-pointers Saturday evening inside McKeon Pavilion as the Cal Poly men's basketball team was outdistanced by the Gaels, 82-56
Senior guard Maliik Love added nine points for Cal Poly (2-3), which shot 50.0 (12-for-24) percent in the first half, but conceded a 51.7 (15-for-29) percent three-point mark to Saint Mary's and a 48.3 (28-for-58) percent figure from the floor as the Gaels led for the final 25 minutes.
The 15 three-pointers by Saint Mary's were the most by a Cal Poly opponent in 165 games under sixth-year Mustang head coach Joe Callero.
Cal Poly returns to action when hosting Menlo College on Saturday, Dec. 6 in the final home contest of 2014. Tip time inside Mott Athletics Center is set for 7 p.m.
A pair of Nwaba layups provided Cal Poly an early 6-2 lead, but the Gaels – who started 3-for-6 from the three-point line and outrebounded the Mustangs 7-1 – responded with an 11-2 run to go up 13-8 with 14-and-a-half minutes remaining.
However, Saint Mary's – which enjoyed nine successive points from senior forward Brad Waldow at one point – immediately regained the lead for certain. Leading 34-31, Saint Mary's received three-pointers from senior guard Kerry Carter on consecutive possessions to finish the half with a 10-1 run and lead 44-32 at the break.
Saint Mary's, which buried seven three-pointers in the first half and outrebounded Cal Poly 23-8, received 17 points and nine rebounds from Waldow over the opening 20 minutes.
Saint Mary's kept up the pressure into the second half, scoring the opening 11 points and hitting the first four three-point attempts to further the advantage to 55-32 with 18 minutes to play.
Held without an offensive rebound for the opening 25 minutes, Cal Poly moved within a 59-41 deficit with 14-and-a-half minutes to play following a pair of free throws by both junior guard Reese Morgan and freshman forward Aleks Abrams.
Saint Mary's, however, added a 13-2 run during the next seven minutes to keep the matchup out of reach.
Morgan added eight points for the Mustangs.