Mar 14, 2013 8:10 PM by Andrew Masuda

Red-hot Royer leads Cal Poly into semifinals after 64-41 win over UC Davis

Dylan Royer was a perfect 5 for 5 from three-point range and poured in a game-high 17 points to lead the Cal Poly men's basketball team to a 64-41 quarterfinal win over UC Davis in the Big West Conference Tournament on Thursday in Anaheim. The victory improved Cal Poly's record to 18-12 and earned the Mustangs a spot in the semifinals for the second year in a row.

The third-seeded Mustangs fell behind quickly 5-0 to the sixth-seeded Aggies to start the game, but went on a 10-0 run to take a five point lead with 13:18 to go. The Mustangs carried a 20-19 lead into halftime despite shooting just 28 percent from the floor. UC Davis, which ended the season with a 14-17 record, shot 36 percent in the first 20 minutes. Royer had 6 points at the break.

The Mustangs opened the second half on a 10-0 run to build a 30-19 advantage. They only pulled further away from there behind 52 percent shooting the second half that included a 5 for 10 mark from 3-point range. Royer, a Morro Bay High graduate, was a perfect 3 for 3 from long range in the second half.

Drake U'u added 10 points and 3 assists for the Mustangs. Jamal Johnson chipped in 7 points and 4 assists, while freshman Brian Bennett finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds. All-Conference First Team pick Chris Eversley struggled from the floor and made 3 of his 11 shots in the game. The junior still finished with 7 points and 6 rebounds.

Cal Poly and UC Davis split the regular season series.

The Mustangs held the Aggies' leading scorer Corey Hawkins to 6 points. He entered as the Big West's leading scorer at nearly 21 points per game. He made just 2 of his 9 shots and left the game for good with an ankle or foot injury with 8:51 to go in the game and Cal Poly ahead by 15 points. Ryan Sypkens led the Aggies with 9 points after he made just 2 of his 11 shots.

Cal Poly joins #2 Pacific in the semifinals. #1 Long Beach State plays #8 Cal State Fullerton and #4 UC Irvine battles #5 Hawaii later on Thursday night.

The Mustangs won't learn their next opponent until after the two remaining quarterfinal games are played.

The semifinals are at 6pm and 8:30 pm on Friday night in the Honda Center in Anaheim.



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