Cal Poly vs Northridge

Cal Poly wins Big West tourney for first ever NCAA bid wire reports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Freshman guard Ridge Shipley hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds left and seventh-seeded Cal Poly completed its improbable march to the school's first Big West Tournament championship, beating Cal State Northridge 61-59 Saturday night and putting coach Joe Callero's Mustangs into the NCAA tourney for the first time in school history.

Cal Poly (13-19) became the lowest seed to win the title in the tournament's 39-year history. Shipley scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half and Chris Eversley had a team-high 18 and Dave Nwaba added 17.

Cal Poly also was the lowest-seeded team in the history of the tournament to eliminate both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, and the lowest-seeded team to play for the Big West crown since 1994, when 10th-seeded UC Irvine lost to No. 1 New Mexico State.

Cal Poly is the lowest seed to win a conference tournament game so far. The previous low was fifth-seeded Milwaukee in the Horizon League, beating top seed Green Bay in overtime a week earlier during their semifinals.

This also was the first time that none of the top four seeds played in the Big West title game, and only the second time in the last 14 years that one of the top three seeds didn't win it.

Eversley was named tournament MVP, the first player from his school to receive that honor. This was the third time each school made it to the championship game. The Mustangs lost to Utah State in 2003 and Long Beach State in 2007. The Matadors lost to Pacific in 2004, then turned the tables on the Tigers in 2009 for coach Bobby Braswell.

Stephen Maxwell scored 18 points for Northridge (17-18), which lost all three meetings with Cal Poly. The Matadors, playing their first season under head coach Reggie Theus, began the tournament with an 87-84 overtime victory over fourth seed Hawaii, then hung beat third-seeded Long Beach State 82-77.

The Mustangs came to Honda Center having lost nine of their previous 11 games before routing second seed UC Santa Barbara 69-38 on Thursday afternoon - the fewest points allowed in this tournament since Utah State beat Pacific 50-38 in the 2001 title game.

They followed that with Friday night's 61-58 decision over top-seeded UC Irvine, the regular-season conference champs and the only school to get to the semifinals with a winning record. It was the first time a No. 7 ever beat a No.1 in this event.

Cal Poly beat Northridge for the fifth straight time in the 94th meeting between the schools and the first at a neutral site.

Cal Poly scored the first six points of the second half to turn a four-point deficit into a 31-29 lead, the Mustangs' first of the game. The lead changed hands three more times before Shipley hit a baseline jumper and a 3-pointer 45 seconds apart to put the Mustangs back in front 50-49 with 5:29 to play.

Northridge and Cal Poly also went head-to-head in the women's championship game several hours earlier, with Northridge winning 73-58 to earn the second NCAA tournament berth in its 23-year history as a Division I program. The other was as a member of the Big Sky Conference in 1999.

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Dave Nwaba and the Big West tourney champion Mustangs charge ahead to their first NCAA Tournament in school history. (USATSI)
Dave Nwaba and the Big West tourney champion Mustangs charge ahead to their first NCAA Tournament in school history. (USATSI)
Cal Poly (13-19) «253661
Northridge (17-18)293059
CPOLY:C. Eversley 18 Pts
CPOLY:Z. Gordon 6 Reb
CPOLY:J. Johnson 4 Ast
CSN:S. Maxwell 18 Pts
CSN:S. Hicks 12 Reb
CSN:J. Greene 2 Ast

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Cal PolyNorthridge
Ridge Shipley
Stephan Hicks
Cal Poly Mustangs
C. Eversley, F368-171-451218
K. Odister, G301-51-22014
D. Nwaba, G-F267-83-662317
J. Johnson, G190-40-01420
J. Awich, F90-10-02030
R. Shipley, G254-73-403214
Z. Gordon, F200-01-26011
B. Bennett, F153-51-15017
M. Bolden, G-F120-30-01000
M. Love, G70-00-01000
R. Morgan, G10-10-00020
A. Silvestri, FDid Not Play
M. Betkowski, GDid Not Play
M. Leonard, GDid Not Play
A. Rowley, GDid Not Play
T. Sutlive, GDid Not Play
A. Ganis, FDid Not Play
Totals 23-5110-1929101761
Northridge Matadors
J. Greene, G404-133-542212
S. Maxwell, F377-174-530318
S. Hicks, G-F354-143-3121111
J. Thomas, F273-41-15117
T. Hale-Edmerson, F-C242-55-610259
L. Drew, G120-20-01010
A. Parks, G120-32-20052
B. Vozzola, G60-10-01000
T. Williams, F50-10-00000
D. Youmans, C20-00-00000
K. Johnson, CDid Not Play
K. Smith, GDid Not Play
Totals 20-6018-223661859
Big West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
UC Irvine12-421-15133
UC Davis11-523-13166
CSNorthridge 7-911-19313
Cal Poly6-1011-20296
UC Riverside5-117-21330
Other games
PITT 48 Final
UVA 51
TENN 49 Final
FLA 56
OHST 69 Final
NCST 67 Final
GW 55 Final
VCU 74
MIST 83 Final
UCONN 61 Final
LOU 71
UCLA 75 Final
NMEX 64 Final
PROV 65 Final
BAYL 65 Final