Mar 10, 2013 10:00 PM by Andrew Masuda

Red-hot Mustangs turn attention to tournament opener against UC Davis

The Cal Poly men's basketball team holds its first practice Monday to prepare for its Big West Conference Tournament opener against UC Davis. The Mustangs earned the #3 seed for the tournament with a 62-60 win over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night. The Mustangs finished the regular season 17-12 and 12-6 in Big West play. The 12 wins are a program record for most conference victories in a single season. Cal Poly also finished conference 9-0 at home after securing its 14th-straight conference home victory.

The Mustangs enter the postseason riding a five-game winning streak. They face 6th seeded UC Davis, which went 9-9 in conference and 14-16 for the year. The two teams split their regular season meetings with the Aggies winning on a buzzer-beater at UC Davis and the Mustangs scoring revenge at home 68-53.

The Mustangs play their first round game on Thursday around 2:30 pm in the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Sophomore guard Corey Hawkins leads the Aggies with 20.9 points per game. Ryan Sypkens, a 6-4 guard, averages 14.3 points, while J.T. Adenrele averages 12.7 points and 6 rebounds per contest.

"You know what we're concerned about is everything. But we can't worry about everything that they do well we have to worry about what we do and that's take care of the basketball, we have to share the basketball," said fourth year head coach Joe Callero. "We have to shoot the basketball well and we've got to get good balance with our inside guys then Dylan Royer, Reese Morgan, Kyle Odister, if they can do their job and 1 or 2 of those guys gets hot then we feel like we can beat anybody, any night," he added.

Chris Eversley leads the Mustangs in both scoring (16.2) and rebounds (7.2). Senior Dylan Royer, a Morro Bay High graduate, is shooting 41 percent from 3-point range and averages 9.9 points per contest. Freshman Brian Bennett averages 9.7 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Cal Poly lost in the Big West semifinals last season to rival UCSB.

38th annual Big West Men's Basketball Tournament Schedule
Thursday, Honda Center, Anaheim
#2 Pacific vs #7 UCSB, 12 pm
#3 Cal Poly vs #6 UC Davis, 30 minutes after end of game 1
#1 Long Beach State vs #8 Cal State Fullerton, 6 pm
#4 UC Irvine vs #5 Hawaii, 30 minutes after end of game 2



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