Cal Poly Women’s Basketball continues to struggle in Big West Conference play, with losses to Hawai’i and UC Irvine putting the Mustangs in last place in the conference.
Thursday versus Hawai’i
Cal Poly’s (4-12, 1-4 Big West) third straight loss was to Hawai’i (6-11, 2-2 ) 71-54 on Thursday, Jan. 24 inside Mott Athletics Center. The Mustangs were without their starting point guard, senior Dye Stahley, who is sidelined by injury. With the other natural point guards injured, freshman shooting guard Alli Hallberg had to play the point guard role.
Despite having to fill the shoes of Stahley, who was honored as the 2018 Big West Hustle Player of the Year, Hallberg finished her first collegiate start as a point guard with a game-high 19 points.
“Today she did a job she has never done in college before, and I thought she did a remarkable job,” head coach Faith Mimnaugh said.
Hallberg went 55.6 percent from the field, shot three for seven from three-point range and made six of seven free throw attempts.
Despite Hallberg’s career-high performance, the Mustangs made too many mistakes to come away with a victory.
Cal Poly took a 15-14 lead at the end of a back-and-forth first quarter, where the score was tied four times and the lead changed five times. However, Hawai’i took control of the game during the second quarter, scoring 24 points to hold a 38-27 lead at halftime. The Rainbow Wahine’s lead came from strong shooting, as they recorded a 69.2 percent field goal percentage and made 57.1 percent of shots from beyond the arc in the second quarter.
Cal Poly was unable to ever retake the lead in the second half, and only cut Hawai’i’s lead down to as low as six points. The Rainbow Wahine recorded their largest lead of 20 points with 1:05 remaining in the game, eventually taking the win 71-54.
Cal Poly had a total of 20 turnovers while Hawai’i only committed 14. Those 20 turnovers directly lead to 23 points for the Rainbow Wahine.
“We have got to get our turnovers down,” Mimnaugh said. “We can not survive turning the ball over 20 times.”
Saturday versus UC Irvine
The Mustangs (4-13, 1-5) went on to surrender 30 turnovers to UC Irvine on Saturday, Jan. 26 inside Bren Events Center. The Anteaters (13-4, 3-2) scored 32 points off of turnovers in a 73-57 win over the Mustangs.
Hallberg made a layup for an early 9-7 lead for the Mustangs. However, this was Cal Poly’s only lead all game, as UC Irvine quickly pulled away. The Mustangs only scored two more points for the rest of the first quarter and the Anteaters lead 22-11 after the opening quarter.
Cal Poly recovered defensively in the second quarter, holding UC Irvine to only 12 points, but the damage was already done. After being unable to make a significant offensive push, the Mustangs trailed 34-22 at halftime.
Devin Stanback opened the scoring in the third quarter with a jumper, but the Anteaters responded with a 7-0 run to take a 41-24 lead 2:05 into the third quarter. Junior forward Alicia Roufosse scored six of her team-high 11 points in the third quarter. However, Anteaters guard Andee Ritters continued to produce. Ritter posted a game-high 24 points, shooting eight for 25 from the field and eight for 21 from beyond the arc. The Anteaters lead 53-35 after the third quarter.
Cal Poly rallied in the fourth quarter by outscoring UC Irvine 22-20 in the final frame, but it was too little, too late. The Mustangs posted a 69.2 field goal percentage, their highest of the game. Hallberg and freshman guard Gianna Silvestri both added three-pointers, the only successful shots from beyond the arc for the Mustangs the entire game. The Anteaters achieved their largest lead of 23 points with 4:14 left in the game. Despite dominating in rebounds with 40 throughout the game to the Anteaters’ 20, the Mustangs were served their fourth consecutive loss, 73-57.
Cal Poly will travel to play the fifth place Hawai’i (7-11, 3-2) Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m at the Stan Sheriff Center.