Nov. 16, 2022: Towson Tigers (0-0) @ Cal Poly Mustangs (0-0)
Kenyon Haynes, 1st Asst Coach:
San Luis Obispo is a beautiful little city and the weather is great. We think that Cal Poly’s offense will primarily come from their guards. The Mustangs’ SG James Garrett has averaged in double figures all 3 years he’s been playing for Cal Poly and PG Dan McFadden also averaged in double figures last season.
We hit 7 of our first 8 FG’s to jump out to a 14-4 lead. The Mustangs cut our lead to 6 but we then took control and gradually increased our lead to be on top at the half 46-28. PF Deon Penn and PG Shaun White shot the lights out and scored 16 and 13 points, respectively. We knocked down 51% of our shots and held a 21-11 rebounding advantage. My only concern was that our 5 reserves, who collectively logged 30 minutes of playing time, didn’t score a single point. Coach Aura gave them encouragement during the halftime intermission to try to increase their confidence.
Cal Poly scored the first 10 points in the 2nd half during which the refs called 4 fouls on us. Midway through the half our lead was down to 54-50 and four of our starters had 3 fouls apiece. With 8 minutes to go our lead was just 3 points. Our guys finally grasped that they could lose this game and tightened down defensively so that with 5 minutes remaining we were up by a 63-53 score. We escaped with a 77-67 victory, but our 2nd half effort was a disaster. We shot under 40% in the 2nd half dropping our FG% for the entire game to 44%. We also had 18 turnovers, but fortunately the Mustangs had 23.
Four of our starters scored in double figures: PF Deon Penn had 25, PG Shaun White 21, SF Wayne Burrough 13, and C Danny Flint 10. Our reserves played a total of 55 minutes and together scored a paltry 4 points, hitting just 1 of 11 FG attempts and 0 for 7 from beyond the arc. They’re going to need to pick it up in the future. Four of those five bench players played a good amount of minutes last season and did well, so hopefully this was just a horribly poor game for all of them. For our starters, SG Dominick Collins was weak offensively but played well defensively and C Danny Flint had an OK game but wasn’t as dominant as we’d hoped he’d be. But it’s only the first game of the season and we did get very strong games from Deon Penn, Shaun White and Wayne Burrough.