Shawn Lewis helped carry the offense, Will Donahue controlled the boards and David Hanson had a second-half awakening as the Cal Poly men’s basketball team registered a season scoring high and avenged an earlier loss to UC Irvine with an 80-71 road win over the Anteaters on Thursday.
The Mustangs (12-11, 7-4 Big West Conference) maintained a tie with Cal State Northridge for second place in the Big West and improved their current winning streak to four games, something that hadn’t happened at Cal Poly since the 2006-07 season.
“Donahue’s domination on the boards was critical,” Mustangs head coach Joe Callero said. “If we didn’t have the tempo control, and if they get second opportunities, those translate into easy putbacks. Getting a second chance on the offensive boards, those are huge momentum plays.”
Donahue scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds in the absence of UC Irvine power forward Eric Wise, who missed the game with an injury. Wise had 13 points and 12 rebounds in a 65-53 Anteaters win at Mott Gym on Jan. 15.
UC Irvine (10-15, 3-8 Big West) totaled just five offensive rebounds after combining for 20 in the previous meeting.
Lewis had a season-high 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field and had 15 of Cal Poly’s 36 first-half points as the Mustangs took a one-point advantage into the break.
Hanson, who came in leading Cal Poly with 16 points per game, was scoreless in the first half after picking up his second foul midway through.
Hanson rebounded to score 14 points in the second half, including three 3-pointers.
“The whole game plan was about ball movement,” Callero said. “Move the ball and see where it ends up. You can’t really dial up one guy because they’ll double him.
“What was nice with David is he sat so much, he had fresh legs in the second half, both offensively and defensively.”
Maliik Love also had 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor, and Chris O’Brien scored nine points as Mustangs starters accounted for all but five of the team’s season-high scoring total.
Led with 19 points from Darren Moore and 18 from Patrick Rembert, UC Irvine had four players in double digits but squandered a seven-point lead with 12:38 left in the game.
Hanson made his three 3-pointers in the span of three minutes to give Cal Poly a 53-52 lead with 9:27 remaining, and after trading the advantage, a jumper by Love with 6:27 remaining gave the Mustangs the lead for good.
Cal Poly returns home Saturday to play in the second half of a doubleheader with the women’s team at Mott Gym. The women host UC Irvine at 4 p.m., and the men play UC Riverside at 7.
L.A. Pierce 8, Cuesta 4
Andrew Montanari’s triple and home run weren’t enough to give the Cougars their first win. He went 2 for 4 with two RBI in the game, but Cuesta fell to 0-5.
With the score tied 2-2, Pierce scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and Cuesta couldn’t answer.
Bryce Marcoullier went 2 for 4, and Max Duval went 1 for 2 for Cuesta. Matt Sanchez went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI for Pierce.
Cal Poly alumni game slated for Saturday
Past meets present Saturday in Baggett Stadium.
The Cal Poly baseball team is set to take on a long list of former alumni in the Cal Poly Baseball Alumni Game at 1 p.m.
Brent Morel, Brandon Roberts, Logan Schafer and Adam Buschini are a few of the former standouts expected to play against the Mustangs.
Big West basketball standings
Big West games Overall
W L W L
Long Beach St. 9 2 14 10
CS Northridge 7 4 10 14
Cal Poly 7 4 12 11
UCSB 6 5 13 9
Pacific 5 5 13 10
CS Fullerton 5 7 9 16
UC Riverside 4 6 9 13
UC Davis 3 8 8 15
UC Irvine 3 8 10 15
Cal Poly 80, UC Irvine 71; Cal State Northridge 70, Cal State Fullerton 68; Long Beach State 93, UC Davis 69; UC Santa Barbara 59, UC Riverside 47.