Annika Shah (2) paced the Mustangs with 19 points against Idaho on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Credit: Cal Poly Athletics

Fans of the ‘Bad Beats’ segment of Scott Van Pelt’s SportsCenter will know that the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho is one of the places in the college sports world where “things get weird.” The only thing weird about Cal Poly Women’s Basketball’s win over Idaho on Wednesday, Nov. 9, was the lack of assists.

Despite coming up with just one assist, the Mustangs (1-1, 0-0 Big West) trailed the Vandals (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) only once the entire game en route to picking up the 65-55 victory for their first of the young season.

While assists were a rarity on Wednesday, the Mustangs made 40% of their threes and shot 19 for 21 from the free throw line. Every player except one scored, and all but two players logged double-digit minutes. 

Senior forward Natalia Ackerman followed up her solid performance in the season-opener with a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double while also tallying 3 blocks (matching Idaho’s team total) and a steal in 31 minutes. Junior point guard Annika Shah played all but two minutes and collected 19 points and 6 rebounds along the way.

The Mustangs dominated the team stat sheet as well. While neither team shot all that well, it was still Cal Poly who was more efficient, shooting 37.5% (21-56) from the floor, while the Vandals shot at just 29.8% (17-57) on six more shots.

“We have a nice little mix of inside presence and shot creation and I think that gives our offense nice balance,” Head Coach Shanele Stires said.

The Mustangs outrebounded the Vandals 48-29. Stires liked the physicality of the Mustangs despite foul trouble early.

“I think the key to the game was our intensity,” Stires said.

The program has brought in nine new players, with six seeing time on the floor Wednesday. Junior guard Sidney Richards was the only newcomer to make the start. The San Jose State transfer added 12 points. 

Up next, the Mustangs will continue their road trip with three straight games in the Bay Area, beginning with a visit to Richard’s prior school, San Jose State on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 12 p.m. inside the Provident Credit Union Event Center.