Highlights and post game reaction from Cal Poly's Big West home opener
Cal State Fullerton senior guard Tre’ Coggins scored a season-high 34 points and the visiting Titans cruised to a 87-74 victory over Cal Poly in a Big West Conference men’s basketball game Thursday night at Mott Athletics Center.
The Mustangs lost their seventh consecutive game — and the first on their home court this season — as they fell to 5-11 overall and 0-2 in the Big West heading into Saturday’s game at UC Santa Barbara.
Coggins reached his Big West-leading scoring average of more than 18 points per contest in the first half alone, and he finished the game 11-for-15 from the field, including an 6-for-7 effort from behind the 3-point line.
“We emphasized for three days that Coggins is maybe the MVP of the conference,” head coach Joe Callero said. “Tonight, he played like an NBA draft pick. He was as good as anybody we’ve played this year.”
How it happened
With Cal State Fullerton (8-8, 2-1 Big West) in control for most of the first half, Cal Poly used an 8-0 run to pull within 37-33 at the break. Junior guard Victor Joseph’s four-play started the surge, and senior forward Zach Gordon put down a two-handed dunk to breathe new life into Mott Athletics Center.
The Titans, who finished last in the Big West a year ago, made sure it wouldn’t last.
They opened the second half on a decisive 12-2 run and the lead eventually swelled to 21 points with 10:25 remaining.
The outcome was never seriously in question the rest of the way.
“We have a great opportunity tomorrow to watch film and get better at the areas that we weren’t the best at tonight,” said senior point guard Ridge Shipley, who scored 12 points and handed out a career-high eight assists in 34 minutes.
Sophomore guard Donovan Fields scored a team-high 15 points, Joseph scored 12 off the bench and junior Luke Meikle added nine points and three rebounds.
Cal State Fullerton shot an eye-popping 64.4 percent from the fiend and made eight of its 14 attempts from behind the 3-point line. Meanwhile, Cal Poly shot 41.9 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.
While Coggins did most of the damage offensively, he also had plenty of help. Khalil Ahmah scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half. Jackson Rowe recorded a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, and Kyle Allman contributed 12 points in the victory.
“He just had it going tonight,” Joseph said of Coggins. “We just need to get out there quicker.”
The Mustangs go back on the road to play UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. Saturday in the first edition of this year’s Blue-Green Rivalry at The Thunderdome. The Gauchos are 2-12 overall and 0-2 in the Big West following Thursday’s loss at home to UC Irvine.