David Hanson scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, reserve guards Jamal Johnson and Matt Titchenal came off the bench to sink three 3s apiece, and the Cal Poly men’s basketball team won its fourth-straight road game, beating Big West Conference foe UC Riverside 65-60 on Thursday.
Titchenal’s nine points was a career-high for the walk-on, who came into the game 0 for 6 from 3-point range this season. Johnson scored 11, and the Mustangs’ 12 3-pointers were a season high.
“That was really big,” Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero said of Johnson’s and Titchenal’s offensive contributions. “The plan wasn’t to play either one of those guys 19 minutes, but they both kind of earned it hitting those shots. We rode the horse to the very end with about three minutes to go.”
It was a one-point game midway through the second half when a series of shots by Johnson, Titchenal and Hanson spurred a 13-5 run by the Mustangs (8-9, 4-2 Big West).
The Highlanders (7-10, 2-3 Big West) got back to within three with 2:49 left, but a Will Donahue jumper and two free throws by Shawn Lewis iced it for Cal Poly.
The Mustangs moved a half game ahead of idle UC Santa Barbara for second place in conference going into Saturday’s regionally televised game at Cal State Northridge.
Cal Poly hasn’t lost on the road since falling 51-41 to Cal on Dec. 18.
The difference this time is that the Mustangs won’t have much time to rest between now and Saturday’s 1 p.m. tipoff in Northridge, which will be televised by FSN Prime Ticket.
“I think this will be the biggest challenge road game we’ve had for the year,” Callero said, “but we have the energy of a positive win.”