The Cal Poly men’s basketball team, coming off an 18-point loss at St. Mary’s on Dec. 1, rebounded in a big way Saturday night, dominating visiting Menlo College from the opening tip in an 89-43 victory at Mott Gym to even its record at 3-3.
Chris Eversley had 15 points and eight rebounds, Dylan Royer scored nine of the first 11 Mustang points, and the team allowed just 14 points in the first half, a school record.
“We wanted to make sure there wasn’t any easy shots, anywhere,” Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero said. “The most important part was not worrying about jumping out to a quick start. We were going to worry about rebounding, we were going to worry about passing and we were going to worry about defending.”
The Oaks shot 32 percent in the game, and 19 percent in the first half.
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“We weren’t taking them for granted,” Mustangs forward Brian Bennett said. “We prepared this week just like we did for UCLA or any other team we play, no matter what division, no matter what school. We’re trying to get better week in and week out.”
The Mustangs jumped out to a 23-3 lead eight minutes into the game and held a 42-14 lead at halftime, fueled by Royer and Bennett, who finished with 14 points and five rebounds.
Already the nation’s leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, the Mustangs tallied 20 assists to eight turnovers against Menlo, an NAIA school.
Ten players scored for Cal Poly, and the one player who didn’t, senior guard Chris O’Brien, had five rebounds and six assists without a field-goal attempt.
“He’s our glue guy,” Bennett said. “He’s not ashamed of not shooting because he knows that anything he can do to help us win is best.”
Kyle Odister had 10 points, Drake U’u had nine and freshman Morgan Reese had seven for the Mustangs, who play at Nevada on Monday at 7 p.m.