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Cal Poly breezes to season-opening victory over Bethesda
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Cal Poly breezes to season-opening victory over Bethesda

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Graduate forward Riley Till led a quartet of double-digit scorers with 17 points as Cal Poly opened its 2020-21 men’s basketball season with a 100-46 victory over Bethesda on Friday afternoon.

Till, a transfer from Iowa, made all seven of his floor shots and three of four free throws while sharing the team lead in rebounds as well with seven.

Freshman guard Kobe Sanders, also playing his first game as a Mustang, added 16 points, senior wing Mark Crowe 15 points and seven rebounds and junior forward Tuukka Jaakkola 11 for Coach John Smith’s Mustangs.

Bethesda, which fell 108-40 at Sacramento State in its season opener Wednesday, was paced by Rian Narra with 10 points.

Cal Poly made 55 percent of its floor shots, sinking 37 of 67 attempts, and was 11-for-28 (39 percent) from three-point range. Sanders and Crowe each made four three-pointers for the Mustangs.

The Mustang defense held Bethesda to just 28 percent efficiency from the floor (16 of 57) and was outrebounded 47-28 by the taller Mustangs.

"I'm real excited. That's what I played in high school so it's going to be fun," Cole said during a recent fall practice. "Going from high school to here, we ran the triple option for three years and now I'm getting back to that slot position. It's going to be exciting." 

A total of 31 of Cal Poly’s 37 field goals were the result of assists, including nine by senior point guard Keith Smith, seven by freshman forward Brantly Stevenson and five by freshman guard Camden Pierce.

Cal Poly led all the way, scoring the first 11 points of the game before Narra ended the drought for Bethesda with a three-pointer six minutes into the contest. The Mustangs twice led by 20 points in the first half before settling for a 41-24 advantage at the break.

Bethesda never got closer than 14 points in the second half as Cal Poly led by 30 points six minutes into the period, 40 with 4:21 to go and 50 with 1:27 to play. A fast-break layup by Sanders with 36 seconds to play gave the Mustangs 100 points in regulation for the first time since a 100-54 win over CSUN on Jan. 12, 2012.

Cal Poly visits San Francisco for its next game Friday in War Memorial Gym. The Dons upset No. 4 Virginia 61-60 on Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

— This report was contributed by Eric Burdick, Cal Poly Associate Director of Athletics for Communications

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