The Cuesta College men’s basketball team defeated Oxnard 67-50 on the road Saturday to finish conference play with an 11-1 record and claim the Northern Division Western State Conference championship outright.
Malte Kramer scored 21 points, and Plamen Hristov scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, shooting 5 of 10 from behind the 3-point line to lead the Cougars (23-7, 11-1 WSC) to the win.
Calen Coleman and Marc Hopkinson added eight points each for Cuesta.
The title marks the third in four seasons for the Cougars, and the seventh since head coach Rusty Blair took over in 1993.
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“Our confidence is high right now,” Blair said. “After going through league with just one road loss, I think our confidence is very high right now.”
Cuesta has won 17 of its past 20 games dating to Dec. 10.
“We’re one of the top teams in the state right now. It’s not like we’re playing some dogs,” Blair said. “We are playing very good competition and playing extremely well.”
The Cougars are hoping for a first round playoff bye and a home game next weekend, but will know for sure when the playoff brackets are announced on Monday afternoon.
Northern Colorado 81, Cal Poly 73
With the chance to earn a nonconference road win late in the season, the Mustangs (15-13) could not capitalize in an ESPN BracketBuster game in Greeley, falling to the Bears (9-17).
Northern Colorado shot 61 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the 3-point line, using a 10-2 run late in the second half to put Cal Poly away. It is the second consecutive BracketBuster game where the Mustangs have faced the nation’s leading 3-point shooting team after losing to Northern Arizona last season.
Chris Eversley had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Dylan Royer had 16 points for Cal Poly. Matt Tichenal added 11 points, and Amaurys Fermin added seven points and eight assists.
The Mustangs were outrebounded 33-21.
Tevin Svihovec had 34 points, and Mike Proctor had 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead Northern Colorado.
Cal Poly will return to Big West action when they travel to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at 8 p.m.
Cal Poly 69, UC Riverside 47
Kristina Santiago had 19 points and 11 rebounds, Jonae Ervin added 10 points, and the Mustangs (13-12, 9-3 Big West) won big on the road to remain a half game out of first place in the conference.
The win marked the seventh straight victory for Cal Poly and also moved its record over .500 for the first time since Nov. 27.
Kayla Griffin scored nine points and Caroline Reeves, Christine Martin and Brittany Woodard all added eight points for Cal Poly.
Leading 32-26 at the half, the Mustangs went on a 15-2 run to start the second half and cruise from there.
Oxnard 59, Cuesta 57
The Cougars (13-13, 5-6 WSC) lost a close game to the Condors (5-16, 1-10) despite Kati Sheldon’s 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Aria Johnson scored 11 points for the Cougars.
Cuesta led by two at halftime but was outscored 37-33 in the second half.
Cal Poly 11, Oklahoma State 3
Cal Poly’s six-run fifth inning gave the Mustangs enough momentum to clinch a season-opening series win against Oklahoma State.
Shortstop Mike Miller led the Mustangs (2-0) at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two RBI. Chris Hoo went 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBI. Mitch Haniger also had two RBI despite going 0 for 3.
Cuesta 7, Citrus 2; Cuesta 6, Citrus 5
The Cougars (8-3) swept the visiting Owls (3-6) in a doubleheader at Cuesta Field.
In the opener, Cuesta used a six-run fifth inning, and Carson Aprato scattered seven hits over seven innings, giving up two runs and striking out three in the win for the Cougars.
Lee Sheller was 3 for 4 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored, while Alex Detz was 1 for 4 with one RBI and two runs scored for Cuesta.
In the nightcap, Brandon Oliver scored the game-winning run in the bottom ninth on a bases-loaded walk to Cuesta’s Josh Miller.
Oliver was 2 for 4 with two runs scored, and Detz was 1 for 4 with two RBI for Cuesta.
Taft 7, Cuesta 5; Bakersfield 7, Cuesta 2
Cuesta lost both of its games in the College of the Sequoias Tournament.
Against Taft, the Cougars were able to score five runs in the seventh, but the late comeback fell short.
Shortstop Kelly Lockwood went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI.
Against Bakersfield, Cuesta (2-6) scored its only runs in the sixth inning.
Lockwood went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI, while Laura Haines went 1 for 4 with an RBI.
Arizona 5, Cal Poly 1
Cal Poly (4-3) managed just one win when Ané McPike won in the No. 5 singles spot, defeating Castany Debora 6-2, 6-4.
At the No. 1 singles spot, Arizona’s Lacey Smyth edged Alexa Lee 7-5, 2-6, 10-5.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
Cal Poly at MPSF Championships
The Mustangs finished in fourth place at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Swimming Championships with 539.5 points.
BYU was first (732), followed by UC Santa Barbara (699).
Senior Lacy Buck won the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16 minutes, 36.53 seconds.
In the 200-yard backstroke, Amanda Maffris came in fifth in 2:00.95.
Cal Poly finished fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay with their team of Rachel Cleak, Amy Morales, Jill Jones and Andrea Voigt.