Mason Dickerson scored six points and went 3-for-4 from the field in the win against Cal State San Marcos.GRACE MIKURIYA | THE POLY POST

Streak extended to seven

Men’s basketball defeated Cal State San Marcos 88-55 on Saturday night thanks to a dominating second-half performance.

William Christmas led all scorers with 21 points in just 27 minutes of play.

The Broncos got off to an extremely slow start and found themselves down eight early.

Christmas ended the Cougars’ run with a layup to finally get the Broncos on the board.

Mason Dickerson scored six points and went 3-for-4 from the field in the win against Cal State San Marcos. (Grace Mikuriya / The Poly Post)

“I didn’t think we played with confidence shooting-wise in the first half,” head coach Greg Kamansky said. “They were playing a soft man on us and sometimes we would get tentative because we missed our first couple of shots and so I said, ‘You guys play with confidence or sit on the bench.’”

Cal Poly picked up the intensity on the defensive end which led to a Phoenix Shackelford corner three and the first lead of the game for the Broncos at 25-24 with 3:59 left in the first half.

That lead was taken away however, as Dalton Soffer of Cal State San Marcos launched up a long three-pointer to beat the buzzer and put his team up two going into halftime.

The Cougars hit 4 of 5 from deep and shot 52 percent from the field compared to the Broncos, who went 3-for-8 from 3-point range and 8-for-22 from the field.

“Coach was real mad in the locker room,” senior guard Jordan Ogundiran said. “We knew we didn’t play our best half. We weren’t making shots or forcing turnovers like we usually do so we just went in the locker room and adjusted. We told each other that we had to pick it up and play harder.”

Junior guard Nikhil Peters sparked a run for the Broncos as he knocked down back-to-back three pointers.

“I felt like I had a bad first half,” Peters said. “Coach was kind of mad because people were passing up wide open jumpers, so basically I was just like I’m going to shoot the ball.”

The team was much more locked-in defensively in the second half as well.

Ogundiran picked up his man full court and the Broncos forced a 10-second violation, which led to a turnover for the Cougars. San Marcos committed 15 turnovers in the second half alone.

Ogundiran’s quick hands led to a steal and a pass to Christmas, who took it all the way to the basket and finished through contact where he would convert the 3-point play and put the Broncos up by six.

William Christmas, right, led all scorers with 21 points in just 27 minutes of play. (Grace Mikuriya / The Poly Post)

Cal Poly went on a 21-2 run in the first four minutes of the second half and never looked back.

“This is Cal Poly basketball,” Peters said. “We have a tradition here and it’s great that our team is finally starting to get it together and keep it rolling.”

The Broncos finished the game shooting 52.5 percent from the field and on the defensive end they had 44 points off the Cougars’ 23 turnovers.

Ogundiran finished the night with 20 points to go along with an impressive nine steals.

Shackelford had 14 off the bench for the Broncos while Peters tallied in nine points of his own.

The team has now won seven straight and is sitting with an overall record of 14-5.

On Thursday night the Broncos got a win against No. 16 ranked UC San Diego 67-62.

The Broncos will head to Humboldt State to take on the Lumberjacks on Thursday and then face Chico State on Saturday night in Acker Gymnasium.

Both games are set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.

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