LOS ANGELES – Cal Poly made history against No. 11 UCLA on Sunday.
Dylan Royer scored 18 points, and Kyle Odister came off the bench to score 15 points and hit the winning free throws as Cal Poly upset No. 11 UCLA 70-68.
Chris Eversley had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs (2-2), who erased an 18-point deficit in the second half and earned their first win against UCLA in six tries.
It was the highest-ranked team ever defeated by Cal Poly, picked to finish seventh in the Big West.
“It feels great,” Royer said. “We have so much respect for this school, this program and this team. To be down (by 18 points) is a little discouraging, but we kept our heads up and we kept fighting. As we battled out the points and start to come back we got more confident and said, ‘Hey, we can do this.'”
UCLA made only one field goal in the final three minutes, on Jordan Adams’ layup underneath to tie it 68.
Freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad from Las Vegas led UCLA with 15 points and 10 rebounds in his Pauley Pavilion debut. Travis Wear had 14 points and Adams scored 13.
Trailing 51-33, Cal Poly went on a 34-14 run. Eversley tipped in a miss for a 67-65 lead and Cal Poly didn’t trail the rest of the way. Odister made free throws for a 68-65 lead and 70-68 edge with 14.2 seconds remaining.
Cal Poly made six 3-pointers, including a career-high four by Royer, and shot 58 percent from the field in the second half as UCLA’s defense struggled and its offense went stagnant.
Brian Bennett had a career-high 16 points for Cal Poly and Chris O’Brien had eight assists.
Adams missed a 3-point attempt and time expired for the Bruins (4-2), who needed overtime to beat another Big West opponent, UC Irvine, this month.
UCLA was coming off a loss to Georgetown and a win over Georgia, but Sunday was another reality check.
“Obviously it’s concerning,” Wear said. “We realize we have a long ways to go. It’s scary to think about because we’re coming up to conference (play) in a little while and we need to buckle down.”
Coach Ben Howland called it a “very, very tough loss” and cited a moment when his team turned it over with 12 minutes to go and an 18-point lead.
“We had the ball up 18 and managed to lose the game,” Howland said. “Again, you have to give Cal Poly San Luis Obispo credit for not quitting, not giving up.
Earlier Sunday, UCLA announced that reserve junior guard Tyler Lamb was granted a release to transfer. Lamb started 32 games last season but had knee surgery in October and hadn’t played since the season opener because of swelling in the knee.
Howland said Lamb decided to transfer because he “just didn’t feel like he could get the minutes that he wants.”