Sierra Campisano (52) tries to shoot around a Hawaii defender as Cal Poly Women’s Basketball takes on Hawaii on Friday, February 5, 2021. (MANDATORY CREDIT: Kyle Calzia / Mustang News)

Cal Poly Women’s Basketball took control in overtime to secure a 79-71 win against the University of Hawai’i Friday, Feb. 5 inside Mott Athletics Center. 

Cal Poly (8-5, 4-3 Big West) was led by sophomore guard Abbey Ellis and senior forward Sierra Campisano who combined for 49 points on the day. Hawai’i (3-5, 2-4 Big West) produced scoring from up and down the roster, but Meilani McBee paced the Rainbow Warriors with 19 points including a game high five threes.

The game opened with a quick jumpshot by Ellis to set the tone early. However, Hawai’i responded with back-to-back threes by Olivia Davies off of assists by Kelsie Imai who led the game with eight assists. A three-pointer by Ellis with 3:47 remaining in the first quarter gave the Mustangs a five-point lead, their largest lead of the half. 

The second quarter was tight with neither team gaining a lead larger than three points. The Mustangs outshot the Rainbow Warriors 46.1% to 36.4% from the field, and 66.7% to 28.6% from beyond the arc in the second quarter. 

Cal Poly went on a 12-6 run to close out the final 4:41 of the half, as every basket by both teams during the run was a three-pointer. The run was capped off by junior guard Gianna Silvestri making an impressive three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer with a defender next to her. 

The third quarter favored the Mustangs as they maintained the lead from start to finish. Each time Hawai’i made it close, Cal Poly found a way to hold onto or increase their lead. The Mustangs recorded four of their nine steals on the night during this period. Ellis contributed two of her game high four steals including one on Hawaii’s final possession of the quarter. 

During the fourth quarter, the game only got closer. A three-pointer by Davies with just under 8 minutes remaining in regulation gave the Rainbow Warriors their first lead of the quarter. The Mustangs quickly reclaimed the edge on a jumper from Campisano. After that point, the teams would trade baskets for the remainder of the game with neither side backing down. 

With just under two minutes left senior guard Malia Holt had a huge steal leading to an easy transition layup to put the Mustangs up by one. The teams traded jumpshots once more before Hawaii’s Amy Atwell hit a contested corner three-pointer which put the Mustang deficit at two. On the ensuing possession Campisano hit a turnaround jumper to tie the game. The Mustangs were able to secure a stop on the final possession to send the game into overtime. 

In overtime, the Mustangs showed up with more energy. Sophomore guard Maddie Willett was the spark Cal Poly needed scoring the first five Mustang points in extra time. With three minutes remaining Ellis hit a jump shot which started a 7-0 Cal Poly run to put the game out of reach. Cal Poly made some free throws down the stretch, resulting in the final score of 79-71. 

Willett was the other big scorer on the night for the Mustangs, putting in 16 in the win. The Hawaii bench outperformed Cal Poly’s with 24 points compared to just nine for the Mustangs, but Cal Poly outscored the Rainbow Warriors in the paint 30-16. This is the third win in a row for Cal Poly following a three-game losing streak. 

The Mustangs will look to extend the win streak to four games as they play the Rainbow Warriors again on Saturday, Feb. 6th inside Mott Athletics Center.

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