March 1, 2012
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Freshman J.T. Adenrele scored a career-high 16 points, including 14 in the second half, but David Hanson had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Cal Poly which opened a 15-point halftime lead on its way to a 69-56 Big West Conference men's basketball win on Thursday night.
The Aggies, who made just 4 of 20 three-pointers after missing their first 14 attempts, fell to 5-24 overall and 3-12 in the Big West. Dylan Royer made four three-pointers after halftime, adding 14 points for the Mustangs who improved to 16-14 overall and 7-8 in conference action.
Adenrele twice scored 10 points this year but eclipsed that scoring high by tallying a pair of free throws in the first half and then making 7 of 9 shots in the second hlf on his way to a new career-best. He added four blocked shots, best for UC Davis this season.
"J.T.'s progression over the last third of the season has been really good," said Aggie coach Jim Les. "He's really agressive. I thought we put him in a bad position with fouls early in the game because he had to come over and help because we were getting beat off the dribble."
UC Davis shot 59.3 percent (16 of 27) after halftime and warmed up to make 4 of 9 from three-pointers but Cal Poly pushed its lead to 42-22 five minutes into the half and led by as much as 57-32 midway before the Aggies outscored the Mustangs 24-12 the rest of the way. Cal Poly also outrebounded UC Davis 37-24 including grabbing 12 offensive rebounds.
"This was disappointing and a step back across the board," said Les whose team was coming off an exciting 78-75 win over second-place Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.
UC Davis struggled throughout the first half, particularly from beyond the arc and on the boards. The Aggies, who entered the game 30th nationally in three-pointers per game (8.1) and 34th in percentage (.380), missed all 11 of their three-point attempts over the first 20 minutes and shot just 30.4 percent (7 of 23) overall. The Mustangs also dominated the rebounding battle, holding a 23-11 advantage at the break.
The Aggies led three times in the opening minutes but Cal Poly then went on an 19-6 run to break an early 8-8 deadlock for a double-digit lead 27-14 lead with 7:10 left in the half. Hanson was a catalyst during that surge, scoring eight points while Chris Eversley had five, both of them also contributing three-point plays. Tyler Les hit a midrange jumper, ending a nearly five-minute scoring drought and helping the Aggies get to within 31-16.
Hanson had 10 points in the first half for Cal Poly which took a 33-15 lead into intermission.
Adenrele scored the Aggies' first eight points of the second half and 10 of their first 12 to help in the comeback effort but Royer countered with four three-pointers after the break, including three over the first eight minutes as Cal Poly extended its lead.
UC Davis' four three-pointers tied a season low while its seven blocked shots were a season high. Les made the Aggies' first three-pointer with 9:57 to go in the game. Freshman guard Tyrell Corbin had four assists, three steals and a team-high five rebounds for the Aggies while UC Davis as a team had just 11 turnovers.
Chris Eversely added 13 points for the Mustangs who shot 50 percent (25 of 50) for the game.
UC Davis, which will enter next week's Big West Tournament as the eighth seed, will continue its roadtrip through the Central Coast, facing UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at 7 p.m. to close out the regular season.