PORTLAND, Ore. – Senior guard Donovan Fields scored a team leading 11 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball program – after holding Texas State to 16 first-half points – scored just 19 itself during the second half and dropped its Portland Classic opener inside the Chiles Center Wednesday evening, 54-42.
Sophomore forward Karlis Garoza (above) grabbed a season high six rebounds for Cal Poly (1-3), which limited Texas State (3-1) to eight points during the opening 15 minutes of Wednesday's matchup. In the first all-time meeting between the two programs, however, Texas State began the second half with a 19-7 run to pull away from the Mustangs.
Sophomore wing Mark Crowe added seven points for Cal Poly, which forced Texas State into 16 turnovers, but shot just 18.8 (3-for-16) percent from three-point range.
Held scoreless until junior guard Job Alexander knocked down two free throw six minutes into action, Cal Poly nevertheless transformed an 8-0 deficit into a 13-8 lead by holding the Bobcats without a point for nine-and-a-half minutes.
Cal Poly, which forced Texas State into 12 first-half turnovers, took a 23-16 lead into the break.
Texas State, however, held Cal Poly to just a pair of field goals during the initial six minutes of the second half and grabbed the lead for certain at 30-28 on a three-pointer by guard Nijal Pearson. Cal Poly knotted the matchup during the ensuing possession through a Garoza jumper, but Texas State responded with a 19-4 run to go up by as much as 49-34 with five minutes to play.
Cal Poly continues Portland Classic action on Friday, Nov. 23 versus the host Pilots at 7 p.m. The Mustangs then close tournament play versus USC Upstate on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 2:30 p.m.