H-SPORTS

Mar 14, 2013 2:05 AM by Andrew Masuda

Cal Poly, UCSB men set for Big West Tournament openers Thursday

Conference Tournament time arrives on Thursday for the Cal Poly and UCSB men's basketball teams in Anaheim.

The 3rd seeded Cal Poly Mustangs enter the postseason winners of five in a row. They play 6th seeded UC Davis in the quarterfinals around 2:30 pm in the Honda Center. The Mustangs and Aggies split their two regular season meetings. Cal Poly lost on buzzer-beater at UC Davis and then won by 15 at home despite losing star Chris Eversley to an injury. "Davis is a great matchup for us. We match up well with them at every position so it should be a good game for us," said Chris Eversley, who is healthy after injuring his ankle against the Aggies last month. He earned All-Conference First Team honors after leading the team with 16 points and 7 rebounds per game. "This is what it comes down to. It's just time for us to buckle down and go out for a gold medal performance," he added.

All-Conference honorable mention pick Dylan Royer scored 19 and 20 points against the Aggies this season.

The Mustangs feel good headed into the first round game. "We want to be healthy and we want to be hot. Fortunately, we got both right now," said Cal Poly's fourth year head coach Joe Callero. The Mustangs advanced to the semifinals last season.

UC Davis lost its last two games of the regular season to finish 9-9 in Big West play and 11-19 overall. Sophomore Corey Hawkins led the Big West with 20.9 points per game. Junior Ryan Sypkens shot .471 from 3-point range and averaged 14.3 points. Ryan Howley led the Aggies with 7.6 rebounds per game.

7th seeded UCSB faces 2nd seeded Pacific at 12 pm on Thursday. The Gauchos went 7-11 in Big West play and 11-19 in the regular season, while Pacific went 13-5 and 19-12 respectively. UCSB won is last three games of the regular season, while the Tigers won their last four games.

The two teams split the regular season series with each team winning on its home floor. UCSB lost 80-62 at Pacific despite 22 points and 12 rebounds from Alan Williams. Pacific made 13 of its 28 three-point shots, a 46% mark. In the second game, UCSB held Pacific to 30 percent shooting in a 66-53 victory. Four Gauchos scored in double-figures led by 13 from Taran Brown and Michael Bryson. Williams scored 10 points and 7 rebounds in just 8 minutes before he left the game with a sprained ankle.

The sophomore Williams earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team after he averaged 17.6 points, 2.4 blocked shots and a conference-best 10.7 rebounds per game. Boswell averaged 13.2 points per game and shot 42 percent from 3-point range in the regular season. Freshman Taran Brown averaged 10.9 and 5.3 rebounds for the Gauchos.

Pacific's leading scorer is Lorenzo McCloud, who averaged 11.4 points per game. He shot .409 from 3-point territory.

Last season, UCSB beat Cal Poly in the semifinals before falling to Long Beach State in the title game.

Thursday, Quarterfinals @ Honda Center in Anaheim
12 pm - #2 Pacific vs #7 UCSB - Fox Sports Prime Ticket
30 minutes after Game 1 - #3 Cal Poly vs #6 UC Davis - Fox Sports Prime Ticket
6 pm - #1 Long Beach State vs #8 Cal State Fullerton - Fox Sports Prime Ticket
30 minutes after Game 2 - #4 UC Irvine vs #5 Hawaii - Fox Sports Prime Ticket

Friday, Semifinals
6:30 pm - Highest remaining seed vs Lowest Remaining Seed - ESPNU
30 minutes after game 1 - 2nd Highest seed vs 2nd Lowest Seed - ESPNU

Saturday
7:30pm - Championship Game - ESPN 2

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