Mar 15, 2013 1:57 AM by Andrew Masuda
The Cal Poly men's basketball team and its six game winning streak face Pacific, winners of five in a row, in the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament on Friday night in Anaheim.
The Mustangs are 18-12 overall and the Tigers are 20-12. Cal Poly, the third seed in the tournament, pulled away from UC Davis in the quarterfinals to win 64-41. Dylan Royer was 5 for 5 from beyond the arc to score a game-high 17 points. Drake U'u added 10 points for Cal Poly. All Big West Conference First Team pick Chris Eversley scored 7 points, about nine points off his season average.
Pacific built a 19 point first half lead, but had to come from behind to beat UCSB 71-68 on Thursday. Colin Beatty was 6 for 7 from downtown and led the Tigers with 26 points and 8 rebounds. Lorenzo McCloud added 12 and Travis Fulton scored 11 for Pacific.
The two teams split their regular season meetings with each team winning on its home court.
Pacific crushed Cal Poly 77-55 on January 12 behind 64% shooting. McCloud led the Tigers with 13 points, while Sama Taku added 10 points. Pacific made 10 of its 16 three-point shots. U'u led the Mustangs with 13 points. Cal Poly shot just 37 % in the loss.
The Mustangs overcame a one point halftime deficit to beat Pacific in Mott Gym 67-62 on February 7. Eversley led the Mustangs with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Odister came off the bench to score 14 points and freshman Brian Bennett tallied 8 points and 10 boards. Fulton led the Tigers with 19 points. Pacific made 9 of its 24 three-point shots.
Cal Poly lost to UCSB in the semifinals last season. The Mustangs are looking to advance to their first championship game since 2007 when they lost to Long Beach State 94-83. They also lost in the title game to Utah State in 2003.
Semifinals, Friday in Anaheim
#1 Long Beach vs #4 UC Irvine, 6:30 pm
#2 Pacific vs #3 Cal Poly, 30 minutes after Game 1, around 9 pm
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