POSTGAME REACTION: JOEL AWICH | BRIAN BENNETT
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly turned the ball over just five times and committed only seven personal fouls in a 72-35 victory over Menlo College in a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday night in the Mott Athletics Center.
Junior forward Brian Bennett tallied 15 points, junior forward Joel Awich added a season-high 13 and junior guard Reese Morgan came off the bench to contribute 11 as Cal Poly evened its record at 3-3, improved its home mark to 3-0 and is 6-0 all-time against Menlo.
Menlo, which fell to 1-9, was held to the lowest point total since Joe Callero became head coach at Cal Poly six years ago. Sophomore guard Skyler Sexton led Menlo in scoring with 11 points.
The Mustangs outrebounded the Oaks 51-26, paced by Bennett with eight and senior wing Michael Bolden (pictured at right) and freshman forward Aleks Abrams, each with seven. Menlo turned the ball over 15 times and was called for 13 fouls.
A jumper by Sexton with 8:41 to play in the first half pulled Menlo to within eight points at 22-14 before Cal Poly launched a 17-0 run to establish control of the contest.
Ahead 41-17 at the break, the Mustangs scored the first nine points of the second half, senior guard Maliik Love capping the spurt with a layup for a 50-17 advantage with 17:02 to go. Cal Poly led by as many as 40 points late in the second half.
Cal Poly, which honored its first Division I team, the 1994-95 squad, at halftime, picked up its 250th Division I victory Saturday. The Mustangs are 32-1 against non-Division I opponents since that first campaign.
All 10 Mustangs who played Saturday scored. Sophomore guard Ridge Shipley contributed four assists while Bolden added three steals to his eight points.
Cal Poly made 39 percent of its floor shots while holding Menlo to just 29 percent. The Mustangs connected on 14 of 17 free throws while the Oaks attempted just six, making two.
Cal Poly plays its next seven games on the road, beginning next Saturday at Fresno State. The Mustangs don't return home until Jan. 10 when they host UC Santa Barbara for a Big West Conference contest.
Photo of Michael Bolden courtesy of Ray Ambler | RA Photos