Cal Poly’s Mustangs stampeded UCSB out of the Big West Basketball Tournament on Thursday afternoon by the shocking score of 69-38.
Five days earlier, the Gauchos had dominated Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, 71-55, and came into the tournament at the Anaheim Honda Center as the second-seeded team. UCSB jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes, but from then on it was all Cal Poly, as the seventh-seeded Mustangs made 59 percent of the shots in the first half and took a 41-20 halftime lead.
Sophomore guard Michael Bryson scored 19 points for the Gauchos, making seven of 10 shots, including five three-pointers. Junior center Alan Williams, the conference Player of the Year, managed to finish with a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds) on an afternoon he was clearly frustrated. He fouled out with seven minutes remaining in the game.
Bryson and Williams combined to make 14 of 27 shots. The rest of the team was 2-for-22. Starters Mitch Brewe, Taran Brown and Zalmico Harmon were scoreless, as was sixth man Kyle Boswell. Ten different Mustangs scored, led by reserve guard Ridge Shipley with 15 points. Cal Poly won the rebounding battle, 38-29, and feasted on 13 UCSB turnovers.
Cal Poly, despite an 11-19 record, is two more upsets from the NCAA tournament. The Gauchos, with a 21-9 record, have a chance to be invited to a consolation post-season tournament.
WEEKEND SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS
Friday, 3/14: College softball – Monmouth at UCSB, 9 am. College baseball – Wichita State at UCSB, 3 pm. College men’s volleyball – Moorpark at SBCC, 6 pm; Pepperdine at UCSB, Rob Gym, 7 pm.
Saturday, 3/15: High school boys volleyball – Dos Pueblos Invitational at UCSB, 8 am. High school baseball – Pioneer Valley at Dos Pueblos (2), 9 am. St. Joseph at Santa Barbara, 11 am College softball – Long Beach at SBCC, 12 pm; Portland State at UCSB, 3:30 pm. College baseball – Wichita State at UCSB, 2 pm. High school girls basketball – State Regional semifinals: La Canada at Santa Barbara, 6 pm. High school boys basketball – State Regional semifinals: Santa Barbara at Chaminade, 7:30 pm.
Sunday, 3/16: Special Olympics – 14th annual Santa Barbara Basketball Tournament, UCSB Thunderdome, 9 am. College baseball – Wichita State at UCSB, 1 pm. College softball – Dartmouth at UCSB, 1 pm.