SAN ANTONIO – Senior guards Reese Morgan and David Nwaba, sophomore forward Luke Meikle and freshman forward Josh Martin (above) each finished with 12 points to lead seven Mustangs in double-digit scoring figures Tuesday evening as the Cal Poly men's basketball team defeated UTSA inside the Convocation Center, 88-73.
Senior forward Joel Awich and sophomore guard Taylor Sutlive both totaled 11 points for Cal Poly (6-6), which shot 47.1 (32-for-68) percent from the floor and recorded season highs for points, assists (23) and blocks (five). Cal Poly, which committed just seven turnovers and limited UTSA (2-11) to a 37.5 (24-for-64) percent field goal mark, also enjoyed 10 points from senior forward Brian Bennett.
Tuesday's victory marked the first time in 201 games under seventh-year head coach Joe Callero that Cal Poly featured seven double-digit scorers (prior to Tuesday, Cal Poly had never even enjoyed six). Cal Poly's 88 points, meanwhile, were the program's highest against a Division I opponent since defeating Hawai'i at home 88-59 on Jan. 24, 2013.
Cal Poly, playing game No. 4 of a six-game road trip and game No. 2 of a three-game Texas swing, also saw freshman guard Jaylen Shead distribute a career high seven assists.
The Mustangs continue their road trip and close the 2015 calendar year at No. 19/21 Texas A&M on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Tip time for just Cal Poly's second all-time meeting versus an SEC opponent is 5 p.m. PT.
In the first meeting between the two programs, the lead switched hands three times inside the opening two minutes before Cal Poly secured its advantage for certain with a Sutlive layup. The Mustangs then kept UTSA to a single field goal during a seven-and-a-half-minute span in exercising a 14-2 run to go up 19-6 with 13 minutes remaining in the opening half.
UTSA utilized three free throws and a layup by forward A.J. Cockrell to eventually bridge its gap to 29-18. Martin, however, stemmed UTSA's run with the second of his three first-half dunks and Meikle followed with a jumper. As part of a 14-1 run, Martin added his third dunk, Morgan knocked down two three-pointers and Nwaba added two free throws to push the Mustang advantage to 43-19.
Cal Poly's 51-26 halftime lead was its largest of the year while the 51 points were the most scored. The Mustangs also shot a season best 58.8 (20-for-34) percent during the first half while holding the Roadrunners to a 28.1 (9-for-32) percent clip.
Opening the second half with a 10-5 run, UTSA shortened its deficit to 56-36. That was as close as the Roadrunners came until there were four minutes remaining, however, as a reverse layup and dunk from Martin combined with a Sutlive layup placed the game well out of reach for UTSA.
Photo courtesy of Kim Sutlive