Cal Poly upsets College of Charleston in Great Alaska Shootout Opener

Updated: November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving is for winners.

On Wednesday, the Mustangs beat top-100 College of Charleston 73-68, putting them in the Great Alaska Shootout winner’s bracket. They’ll have Thanksgiving off before they play the winner of the Sam Houston State vs. Central Michigan game. 

The game was close throughout, though Cal Poly had a lead between two and seven points for most of the second half. Charleston took a one point lead late before Victor Joseph knocked down a three-pointer to give Cal Poly the lead for good. 

“Victor’s junior college coach mentioned that Vic was a gamer,” said Callero. “The more we watch and follow him, boy he is a gamer. He’s got cold water in his veins. The reality is he’s one cool customer.” 

Victor Joseph led Cal Poly with 20 points in their victory over College of Charleston. By Owen Main

Joseph led Cal Poly with 20 points — by far his best game of the young season. Donovan Fields shot 3-5 from three-point range en route to 17 points. Kuba Niziol was a perfect 5-5 from deep for 15 points and Luke Meikle made some clutch shots en route to 10 points. 

Fields dished six assists and Meikle led the team with six rebounds. 

For Callero’s team, the win was the best regular season win in recent memory. The Mustangs beat a very good Northeastern squad on December 17, 2014 in Santa Clara. Before that, the best regular season win for Cal Poly was probably the upset against UCLA on November 25, 2012 during their last winning season.

“I’m really really pleased with this victory,” said Callero, in his 9th season at Cal Poly, after the game. “The kicker for us really was our guys locked into our scouting report. We minimized the easy shots they get driving to the hoop. Our game plan was to make them shoot threes.” 

Callero was ecstatic about the team’s ability to stick to the game plan and execute throughout.

“I don’t recall a game in the last year or two where we played that sticky defense and rebounding,” said Callero.

On the ESPN Radio 1280 postgame, Callero said the team would have practice, stretching, treatment, and then would be able to have a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner together.

The Mustangs will play again Friday evening. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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