Jan. 28, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. -
Eddie Miller scored 16 points, and nearly had two more on a tip-in just after the final buzzer, but Cal Poly rode 18 points by Will Taylor as the Mustangs rallied from 17 points down in the second half to edge host UC Davis 67-65 in a Big West Conference men's basketball game on Saturday night.
Harrison Dupont added 13 points for UC Davis while Tyler Les and Alex Tiffin each had 10 as the Aggies fell to 1-19 overall and 0-8 in the Big West. Half of the Aggies' league losses have been by four points or fewer.
David Hanson scored 12 points for Cal Poly including canning a long three-pointer late in the game that gave the Mustangs their final lead. Kyle Odister also had 12 points. Cal Poly, which made seven three-pointers in the second half to help come back from a 39-25 halftime deficit, is 13-9 overall and 4-5 in the league.
The Aggies had a chance to tie the game after inbounding the ball on the far end of the court with 9.4 seconds to go. Josh Ritchart's baseline jumper was off the mark, DuPont's put-back bounced off and Miller's tip-in from just in front of the rim came barely after the final born.
"(Our team's) effort was certainly worthy of a victory. I thought they played their tails off," said Aggie coach Jim Les. "Life doesn't always give you what you deserve. You have to give Cal Poly credit. They made some shots and made some plays late and that's what it comes down to coming down the stretch.
"They made more plays than we did," he added. "But I told the guys they were a lot of fun to coach tonight. Their effort was outstanding, especially on the defensive end of the floor and especially in the first half to get that lead. I thought the defensive intensity propelled us to doing some really good things offensively."
Behind a three-pointer from Miller and two points each from Ritchart and Tyrell Corbin
, the Aggies jumped to a 7-0 lead, holding Cal Poly without a point for more than six minutes. Tyler Les'
first of three treys pushed the lead to 12-2 while Miller's three-pointer midway through the half gave the Aggies a 17-4 advantage.
UC Davis, which shot 58.3 percent (14 of 24) from the floor in the first half, led by double-digits for the final nine minutes of the opening 20 minutes, building a pair of 17-point leads with the final one coming 33-16 with four minutes on the clock.
The Aggies twice enjoyed 17-point leads early in the second half and maintained at least an 11-point cushion until Taylor's tip-in with just under eight minutes to go made it 59-50 and was part of an 8-0 Mustangs' run that brought them to within 59-56.
Cal Poly continued to climb closer, eventually taking a 64-62 lead - its first lead of the game - near the two-minute mark on Chris Eversley's three-point from the left side. Corbin's driving layup tied the game but Hanson's trey from the right wing made it 67-64 with a minute to go.
DuPont's free throw made it a two-point game and the Mustangs ran down the shot clock before Amaurys Fermin's layup with 9.4 seconds missed and the rebound went out of bounds to the Aggies, setting up the final.
Miller finished 6 of 12 from the field and added a team-high tying six rebounds. Corbin had four assists and five steals, giving him 11 swipes over his last two games. Les was 3 of 6 from beyond the arc to help with his 10 points while DuPont had six rebounds to complement his 13 points.
Eversley finished with nine rebounds for Cal Poly as did Taylor. Cal Poly outrebounded UC Davis 31-26.
The Aggies have lost 16 straight games but will try and end that streak when they travel on Thursday to face UC Irvine. They'll play at UC Riverside on Saturday. UC Davis will also be participating in the ESPNU Bracketbusters and will find out Monday where it will travel to for the Feb. 18 game.