A pair of teams from the Golden State look to shake off season opening losses on the hardwood as they square off in non-conference action. The Cal Poly Mustangs are the visiting team as they travel to face the Cal Golden Bears Sunday afternoon. Cal Poly came up a 78-62 loser on the road against Stanford Friday night to open their season. Cal was defeated 74-66 at home by UC Riverside Friday night to kick their season off on the wrong note. The Golden Bears hold a 3-1 edge in the all-time series, including an 81-55 home win in the last matchup on December 17, 2016.
Cal Poly Mustangs Look to Spring Upset Win
Cal Poly managed to cover the line against Stanford as they were a 19 point underdog. As it stood, the Mustangs never really threatened the Cardinal in going down in defeat. Cal Poly trailed 38-24 at the half and by the time they got their offense clicking, they merely matched buckets with Stanford in the second half. The Mustangs were held to 38.3 percent shooting from the floor and connected on 10 of 25 three point attempts in the contest. Cal Poly was hammered 41-24 on the glass while allowing Stanford to shoot 49.1 percent from the floor. The Mustangs went 6 of 9 at the charity stripe while the Cardinal sank 17 of their 23 attempts. Donovan Fields led Cal Poly with 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals while Victor Joseph was the only other player in double figures with 17. Two of the Mustangs’ five starters fouled out and each of them finished with at least three fouls in the game.
Cal Golden Bears Hope to Avoid 0-2 Start
It was expected that Cal would have some struggles after seeing their top five scorers from a year ago move on from the program. It was less expected that the Golden Bears would lose at home, where they were favored by double figures, to a mid-major program coming off a season where they won seven games. Cal was blitzed early as they trailed 40-21 at the half and despite their attempts to rally, drew no closer than eight with that coming in the final seconds. The Golden Bears were held to a dismal 30.6 percent shooting from the floor in the contest and misfired on 12 of 16 three point attempts in addition to 15 of 39 free throws. There was poor free throw shooting on both sides as UC Riverside was 12 of 24 at the stripe. Cal was beaten 52-46 on the glass in the game. Don Coleman led the Golden Bears with 31 points but shot 9 of 28 from the floor in addition to 11 of 19 at the stripe. Justice Sueing had 14 points off the bench while Kingsley Okoroh was a force defensively, grabbing 18 rebounds and recording seven blocks while scoring five points in the loss.
- Mustangs are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 Sunday games
- Mustangs are 7-22 ATS in their last 29 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Golden Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games
- Golden Bears are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games as a home favorite of 7.0-12.5
Both teams had performances they’d like to forget in their season openers. Cal Poly is a mid-major program looking to make an impact but they’re likely a few players short of surprising a Power Five school, at least early on in the season. Cal has to play better than they did against UC Riverside and that includes simply knocking down free throws. Teams simply can’t leave that many free points on the floor. Okoroh proves to be the difference here as his ability to clean the glass and erase shots by the Mustangs propels Cal to the win here.