The Cal Poly men's basketball team cut a double-digit deficit to one point in the second but was unable to complete the comeback in a 69-60 Big West Conference loss at Hawaii on Saturday.
The Mustangs, who were 4-1 at one point in conference play, dropped their fourth straight game to fall to 4-5 in the Big West and 8-14 overall. Hawaii, which lost at Cal Poly 77-65 on Jan. 9, improved to 6-3 in the Big West.
UC Irvine leads the conference race at 7-2, one-half game ahead of UC Santa Barbara, which won at Hawaii on Thursday.
Brian Bennett, who had eight points for Cal Poly, hit a jumper with 6:30 left to pull Cal Poly within 54-53, but Hawaii responded with a 10-2 run over the next 5:39 to take a commanding 64-55 lead.
The Mustangs led most of the first half, but trailed 32-24 at halftime after Hawaii used as 13-3 run that bridged the first and second halves. Cal Poly was also without Chris Eversley for most of the first half after he got into early foul trouble.
David Nwaba and Kyle Odister both scored 12 points to lead the Mustangs. Ridge Shipley added nine points for Cal Poly. Eversley was limited to two made free throws in 25 minutes.
Hawaii's Isaac Fotu led all scorers with 26 points, including 16 in the second half, and Christian Standhardinger added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Hawaii had a big edge at the free-throw line, making 21 of 27 attempts while Cal Poly was 6 of 8. Hawaii also had a 38-22 rebounding advantage.