UC Riverside (6-23) at Cal Poly (15-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 7, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mott Gym (3,032) -- San Luis Obispo, California.
Television: None. Home Record: UCR 5-9, Cal Poly 11-1. Away Record: UCR 1-11,
Cal Poly 4-11. Neutral Record: UCR 0-3, Cal Poly 0-0. Conference Record: UCR
3-13, Cal Poly 10-6. Series Record: Cal Poly leads, 44-43.
GAME NOTES: A Big West Conference tilt is on tap for Thursday night, as the
Cal Poly Mustangs put their impressive home record on the line against the
visiting UC Riverside Highlanders.
UCR's season has been lackluster to say the least, as it has won just six of
its 29 games overall, and at 3-13 in the Big West, it is all alone in last
place. The Highlanders have dropped 10 of their last 11 games, most recently
falling on Senior Night last Saturday to Pacific, 70-68.
Meanwhile, Cal Poly has kept its head above water this season, going 15-12
overall, and it is just a game back of Pacific for second place in the league
(10-6). The Mustangs have ripped off three straight wins, including a 64-61
triumph over Hawaii last Saturday, and now they return home where they've won
11 of 12 bouts,
Cal Poly snapped a series tie versus UC Riverside by winning on the road on
Dec. 29, 58-48, to take a 44-43 lead all-time.
The Highlanders appeared down for the count when they trailed by nine with
under five minutes to play in their latest outing, and while they managed to
climb back in late, a game-winning 3-point attempt by Robert Smith at the
buzzer was off the mark as they were saddled with the heart-breaking, two-
point loss. Chris Patton was outstanding in defeat, shooting 10-of-15 from the
floor and 8-of-9 from the foul line for 28 points. Smith was also solid,
pouring in 16 points. Despite the recent effort, UCR usually struggles
mightily to put points on the board, as it averages a league-low 59.3 ppg
while also ranking last in field goal percentage (.419), 3-point percentage
(.291) and free-throw percentage (.588). Patton has been the exception to the
rule, as he is in the midst of a strong campaign with 13.6 ppg on 54.5 percent
field goal shooting. Chris Harriel is also effective with 10.4 ppg, while Josh
Fox mans the paints with 9.3 ppg and a team-best 6.5 rpg.
Cal Poly went into hostile territory and managed to hold off Hawaii for the
three-point win by draining 49 percent of its field goal attempts. Chris
Eversley was the catalyst in the tough road triumph, shooting 11-of-18 from
the field for 25 points, while Reese Morgan provided a spark off the bench
with 10 points. The Mustangs once again played an outstanding defensive game,
holding the Rainbow Warriors to 40.4 percent field goal efficiency, and they
have been solid at that end of the court all season long, allowing a league-
low 63.6 ppg. The stingy defensive effort makes up for the fact that they
aren't always successful shooting the ball (.425 FG percentage, 66.1 ppg).
Eversley is easily one of the best forwards in the Big West, pouring in 16.2
ppg on nearly 46 percent field goal shooting to go along with 7.3 rpg. Dylan
Royer nets 10.3 ppg with most of his damage coming from beyond the arc (73-
of-174, .420), while Brian Bennett brings 9.7 ppg to the mix.
Cal Poly has been nearly unstoppable at home this season, and not much is
expected to change when last-place UCR comes to town.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal Poly 65, UC Riverside 51
03/07 10:33:13 ET
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