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Cal Poly men’s basketball opens 2018-19 season with 82-75 win over Menlo College

Senior guard Donovan Fields established a new career scoring high with 30 points and senior guard Marcellus Garrick added 16 as Cal Poly led wire to wire for an 82-75 victory over Menlo College in a season-opening men’s basketball game Wednesday night inside Mott Athletics Center.

Senior forward Kuba Niziol contributed 12 points, a dozen rebounds and eight assists for the Mustangs, who gave 10th-year head coach Joe Callero his 121st career win at Cal Poly, moving into a tie for third place with Steve Beason in the Mustang record book.

Menlo (2-2) was paced by John Paine with 22 points and Henry Cornelious with 14.

A three-pointer by Garrick with 6:04 remaining in the first half gave Cal Poly a 26-17 cushion, Menlo then went on a 7-0 run to trim the Mustangs’ advantage to 26-24 and Cal Poly settled for a 35-31 lead at the break.

Cal Poly led by as many as 13 points with 8:46 remaining in the game. Menlo pulled to within three points on three occasions in the final 57 seconds of the game, but the Mustangs made seven of 10 free throws to secure the victory.

Fields made 11 of 18 floor shots, including two of four from three-point range, and six of seven three throws. Garrick connected on five of 10 field goal attempts, four of seven from long range, and two of four free throws.

Niziol established career highs in assists and rebounds while sophomore wing Mark Crow tallied a career-high eight points for Cal Poly, which won its season opener for the first time since a 79-52 triumph over San Jose State on Nov. 12, 2011.

Cal Poly outrebounded Menlo 38-25 and connected on 52 percent of its floor shots for the game (26 of 50). Menlo was held to 49 percent from the floor. Both teams made half of their three=point tries — Cal Poly nine of 18 and Menlo eight of 16.

Besides the 13-rebound advantage enjoyed by Cal Poly, the difference of the game was at the free-throw line, where the Mustangs were 21 of 28 and Menlo just nine of 19.

Cal Poly plays its next seven games on the road, equalling a seven-game road trip during the 2014-15 season. The Mustangs visit Arizona on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tip against the Wildcats of the Pac-12 Conference.

Next home game for the Mustangs will be Dec. 8 against Bethune-Cookman at 7 p.m. in Mott Athletics Center.

-Provided by Cal Poly

Jessica Vo

Jessica Vo

Jessica Vo is the Sports Director at KSBY
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