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Toro Shooters Warm Up in Cold San Luis Obispo Gym, Post 74-67 Victory

February 05, 1989|PAUL McLEOD | Times Staff Writer

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Anthony Blackmon celebrated his 22nd birthday by scoring 22 points Saturday night as Cal State Dominguez Hills defeated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 74-67, before 1,000 spectators in a chilly Mott Gymnasium.

Blackmon, a 6-foot-7 senior center from Los Angeles, sat out about half of the first 20 minutes with foul trouble, but he returned in the second half to score 15 points of his game-high total.

Robert Barksdale added 20 points for the Toros (14-6 overall), who have won five straight games and hold second place by two games in the CCAA race. The Toros are 5-1. San Luis Obispo fell to 3-3.

Barring a complete collapse in the season's second round, which begins Tuesday night at Chapman College, Saturday's win virtually assured Dominguez Hills of a place in the conference post-season tournament.

Standing in a hallway next to the basketball floor minutes after the game, Blackmon was serenaded with "Happy Birthday," sung by his teammates.

"Those were just stupid fouls on my part," he said of his first-half performance. "I just had to come out in the second half and get my mind into the game."

The Toros, who in their last three games had shot a combined 40% from the field, showed signs of shaking that slump Saturday night, despite the chilly conditions inside Mott, a barracks-like facility that does not have heaters. Dominguez Hills made 24 of 47 field-goal attempts, including five of seven 3-point shots.

Coach Dave Yanai said the Toros are peaking at the right time after a pre-season that sometimes frustrated him.

"I felt we'd be in the forefront of the conference race," he said. "We went through some problems early in the year . . . but now at the very important time we are clicking on all eight (cylinders)."

San Luis Obispo gained some measure of triumph against the Toros. By scoring 67 points, the Mustangs snapped a five-game streak in which Dominguez Hills had not allowed a team to score over 60 points.

Dominguez Hills made five of its first seven field-goal tries and took an 11-4 lead following a lay-in by Kevin Shaw off an assist from Derrick Clark with 6 1/2 minutes gone.

But San Luis Obispo, which opened by making just two of its first 10 field-goal attempts, outscored the Toros 13-6 over the next six minutes. David Taylor, a 6-foot-5 sophomore from North Torrance High School, tied the game at 17 with a rebound and a basket at the seven-minute mark.

The lead seesawed from that point on. A key for San Luis Obispo was the shooting of reserve Errol Talley, a senior forward from St. Bernard High.

A pair of baskets by Clark and one by Barksdale helped the Toros offset two field goals by guard James Gama and take a 29-25 lead with 4:07 left.

But the Toros went without another basket down the stretch, settling for only six more points, all on free throws.

San Luis Obispo went ahead just before the break and took a five-point lead, 40-35, to open the second half as Dominguez Hills continued to struggle from the field, missing their first six shots.

Blackmon's spinning drive at the 15:53 mark not only ended an eight-minute drought without a basket and cut the Mustang lead to 40-39. It also triggered a 17-9 scoring outburst by Dominguez Hills, capped by reserve forward Michael Bell's 15-footer from the top of the key.

That put the Toros up, 56-49, with 9:39 to play.

Cal Poly SLO 59, Dominguez Hills 48--Julie Scott scored 12 points, including a basket with 11:10 left in the game that brought the Lady Toros within five points, 39-34.

But from that point on San Luis Obispo built and maintained a 11-point lead. Brigitte Frazier scored 10 points for Dominguez Hills (6-12 overall). The Lady Toros dropped to 1-5 in CCAA play. Cal Poly is 10-10 overall, 2-4 in the CCAA.

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