Late Comeback Falls Short

By Mike Norys

It was nearly an impressive comeback.

In the end, it was just a loss.

The men’s basketball team cut a 17-point second-half deficit to
just two points down the stretch before falling to Cal State
Stanislaus, 85-82, on Saturday night in Kellogg Gym.

“It’s all about consistency,” said assistant head coach Bill
Bannon. “It’s about physical and mental toughness to do what we
want to do.”

The loss comes one night after the Broncos defeated Chico State,
76-44.

On Saturday, the Broncos (9-3, 5-2) trailed by 17 points, 77-60,
with 9:13 to go in the contest. Cal Poly battled back and got
within three points, 83-80, with 51 seconds to go after a 3-pointer
by senior Dion Cook.

After Cal State Stanislaus’ Duane Jones converted one of his two
free-throw attempts, Cook responded with another jumper to put the
Broncos within two, 84-82, with 22 seconds remaining.

After two missed free throws by the Warriors, the Broncos
responded with a turnover and two consecutive controversial
offensive fouls before Anthony Zuniga made one of his final two
free throw attempts to set the final score.

Junior Kaelen Daniels had a career-high 23 points, while Cook
contributed 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three
steals.

“[Daniels] is a guy who’s really stepped up all year,”?Bannon
said. “We knew we could take advantage and score inside.”

They did just that as junior Kevin Neveu had 11 points and five
rebounds, while sophomore Kyle Krause had a career-high 10 points
and three rebounds.

Heath Colvin led the Warriors with 26 points on 10-of-12
shooting, while Dominique Pennis had 14 points and Marcus Martinez
finished with 11.

Cal State Stanislaus came out strong in the second half,
outscoring Cal Poly 17-2 in the first 3:38 to take a 65-50 lead
before eventually leading by 17 points with 9:13 to go.

“There’s definitely frustration,” Bannon said. “It all has to do
with competing for 40 minutes. We didn’t have a lot of room for
error because of injuries.”

On Friday, the Broncos defeated Chico State handedly, 76-44, in
Kellogg Gym.

Sophomore Larry Gordon had a double-double with 20 points and 12
rebounds to lead the Broncos, while Cook had 17 points, four
rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Bill Forelli and Booker
contributed with eight points each.

Jon Baird led the Wildcats with a game-high 22 points that
included six 3-pointers.

The Broncos trailed only once in the game, 8-6, and took the
lead for good after a 3-pointer by Cook that made it 13-10 with
9:23 to go in the half.

Baird hit a 3-pointer to make it 17-15, but Cal Poly went on a
9-0 run to take control of the game en route to a 36-21 halftime
lead.

The Broncos started the second half with another run, 6-1, to
take a 20-point lead, 42-22, with 17:36 remaining. After a jumper
by Booker gave the Broncos a 24-point lead, 49-25, with 14:01
remaining, Cal Poly’s lead never dropped below 20 points for the
rest of the game.

The Broncos will return to action this weekend with road
contests against Cal State Dominguez Hills and UC San Diego on
Friday and Saturday.

Mike Norys can be reached by e-mail at sports@thepolypost.com or
by phone at (909) 869-4630.

Late Comeback Falls Short

Late Comeback Falls Short

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