Cal Poly tops UC Irvine 61-58 in Big West semis

The Associated PressMarch 15, 2014
Cal Poly tops UC Irvine 61-58 in Big West semis
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Cal Poly guard Dave Nwaba, right, passes the ball away from UC Irvine center Mamadou Ndiaye, left, and forward Mike Best during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game of the Big West Conference men's tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- David Nwaba and Chris Eversley each scored 14 points Friday night as Cal Poly beat top-seeded UC Irvine 61-58 and advance to Saturday's Big West Conference tournament finals.

The Mustangs will face fifth-seeded Cal State Northridge in the title game after the Matadors downed No. 3 seed Long Beach State 82-77 to advance

Brian Bennett scored 12 points for the seventh-seeded Mustangs (12-19) against UC Irvine.

Cal Poly opened with three quick baskets, but the Anteaters (23-11) took a 12-11 lead on a trey by Alex Young, then pulled away on a 10-2 run. Cal Poly rallied with a 9-1 run, and Eversley's jumper gave them a 31-29 halftime lead.

Cal Poly led 41-31 in the second after a 10-2 run, but Will Davis pulled the Anteaters to within a point, 56-55, on a layup. Kyle Odister boosted Cal Poly's lead with a trey, then Nwaba added two free throws for a 61-55 edge. Young hit a trey, but the Anteaters missed three shots in the final 37 seconds.

Davis finished with 18 for UC Irvine and Young 11.