Cal Poly Women’s Basketball continued their Big West Tournament run after defeating the UC Irvine Anteaters 70-49 in the quarterfinals Wednesday, Mar. 11 inside the Walter Pyramid.
The Mustangs advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating the No.5 seed Long Beach State 49ers 59-48 on Tuesday, Mar 10.
Cal Poly entered the game as the No. 8 seed while the Anteaters (13-18, 9-7) entered as the No. 3 seed and received a first-round bye.
With the victory, the Mustangs have won two tournament games in a row and their semifinal appearance will be their second in three years. The Mustangs last reached the semifinals in 2018 where they automatically qualified as the No. 2 seed. The Mustangs fell 73-50 to the No.5 seed Cal State Northridge.
Cal Poly started the game with a dominant offensive performance in the first quarter. The Mustangs jumped out to a 10-2 lead after a three-pointer by freshman point guard Abbey Ellis with 5:54 remaining in the quarter. The Mustangs got out to a double-digit lead at 22-11 after redshirt junior forward Sierra Campisano sank two free throws. However, the Anteaters responded with two three-pointers to close out the first quarter with a 22-17 deficit.
While the Mustangs played terrific offensively in the first quarter, their defense carried them throughout the second quarter as they held the Anteaters to five points. The Mustangs capitalized on their defense when they extended their lead to 35-22 after senior forward Alicia Roufosse made a jumper to close the first half.
The Mustangs took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Anteaters 17-8. After UC Irvine made a three-pointer to cut the lead to 40-30, Campisano nailed a three-pointer of her own to start a 12-0 run over the span of 6:18. At the end of the quarter, the Mustangs held a 52-30 lead.
The Mustangs took their largest lead of the game (29 points) at 66-37 with 3:35 remaining in the game. Cal Poly closed the game convincingly as they pulled off the 70-49 upset over the No. 3 seed UC Irvine.
Similar to their first-round victory, Cal Poly shot significantly better than its opponent. The Mustangs shot 47.1 percent (24 of 51) from the floor and 53.3 percent (8 of 15) from three. Meanwhile, the Anteaters only shot 26.5 percent (18 of 68) from the floor and 26.3 percent (10 of 38) from three.
While Campisano stole the show with 30 points in the first-round victory, Ellis scored 30 points of her own in the upset. Roufosse added 18 points and 8 rebounds while Campisano recorded 14 points.
With the victory, the Mustangs will face the No. 1 seed UC Davis on Friday, Mar. 13 at noon.