Jan 4, 2013 7:24 PM by Andrew Masuda

Reese Morgan stepping up for Mustangs in Big West play

Reese Morgan opened a lot of eyes among Cal Poly basketball fans Thursday night in the Mustangs' 79-73 win over reigning Big West champion Long Beach State. The redshirt freshman provided a major spark off the bench in Cal Poly's first win over the 49ers in Mott Gym since 2008.

In 24 minutes, Morgan scored a career-high 16 points. He made 9 of his 10 free throw attempts to go with four rebounds and a key steal in the final minute of the game.

His intensity and endless energy not only impressed fans, but it rattled the 49ers. "I don't mind getting under people's skin a little bit. I like to play physical. I don't mind getting in the with the big boys and getting a little feisty," said Morgan, who also thanked his teammates and coaches for never losing faith in him this season.

The 6-2 Morgan has seen his minutes increase over the last few games. After logging just 4 minutes against Eastern New Mexico and 5 minutes on the court at Santa Clara, Reese played 12 minutes and scored 6 points against Washington. He dropped 9 points and pulled a career-high 8 rebounds at UC Riverside in Cal Poly's conference opener last weekend. For the season Morgan is averaging 4.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 14.5 minutes per game.

Teammates say they've always had faith in Morgan, a former high school All-American at Peninsula High School.

"Little things that maybe the average spectator may not see, we see it and it's huge. All the little things whether it be steals, tipped passes, rebounds, it helps us tremendously," said senior guard Dylan Royer.

The Mustangs are hoping for more of that Saturday when Cal Poly hosts UC Irvine at 7pm. The Anteaters lost at UCSB on Thursday 74-71.

Cal Poly has won the last three meetings with the Anteaters.

Cal Poly is 6-6 overall and 2-0 in conference. The Mustangs are tied for first place with Hawaii in the Big West with a chance for their first-ever 3-0 start in Big West action.



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