Chris Eversley recorded 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Mustangs defeated the Tigers in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Dayton, Ohio. Dave Nwaba contributed 17 points and three blocks for 16th-seeded Cal Poly (14-19), which will play top seed Wichita State in the second round of the Midwest Regional on Friday in St. Louis. Brian Bennett added 10 points for the Mustangs, who shot a season-high 56.9 percent from the field in their first NCAA tournament appearance. Aaric Murray poured in a game-high 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting for Texas Southern (19-15), which saw its nine-game win streak come to an end. Jose Rodriguez had 14 points off the bench and D’Angelo Scott hauled in eight rebounds for the Tigers, who were also seeded 16th. Cal Poly trailed by as much as four early on, but Eversley scored 11 and Nwaba added 10 to help the Mustangs sprint away to a 44-32 edge at intermission. Cal Poly shot 54.5 percent from the field and committed only one turnover in the opening 20 minutes, finishing the half on a 17-8 run. Rodriguez scored four straight points to pull the Tigers within 59-51 with 10:25 left before Bennett responded with two consecutive baskets. A driving layup by Rodriguez pulled Texas Southern within 73-66 with 2:16 to go, but the Mustangs scored the next eight points on free throws to seal it. GAME NOTEBOOK: Cal Poly G Reese Morgan contributed nine points on three 3-pointers off the bench after scoring only 13 - making 1-of-12 from behind the arc - in seven games during the regular season and conference tournaments. … Texas Southern coach Mike Davis took Indiana to the NCAA title game before losing in 2002 and also led Alabama-Birmingham to the tournament in 2011. … The Mustangs came into the game averaging 28.8 points in the first half and 63.2 overall.
Cal Poly SLO 81, Texas Southern 69
ProSportsDaily | Mar 20