Cal Poly Women’s Basketball swept its regular season series against CSUN with a 53-43 victory on Saturday, Feb. 29 inside Mott Athletics Center. Redshirt junior forward Sierra Campisano scored a game-high 26 points for the second consecutive game while freshman guard Abbey Ellis added 15 points in the win.
Cal Poly (9-17, 6-9 Big West) led wire to wire in the senior night victory. Before the opening tip-off, Cal Poly honored its three graduating seniors: forward Alicia Roufosse, guard Jonni Smith and forward Hana Vesela.
“[The seniors] are such role models for their team,” Ellis said. “They really set the standard off the court as well. Emotions were high today, I think we really pulled through for them.”
The Mustangs got off to a quick start and secured a 6-2 lead through two baskets from Ellis. After a CSUN basket by De’Jionae Calloway, Ellis continued her hot start with a three-pointer to take seven of Cal Poly’s first nine points.
Over the next eight and a half minutes of action, Campisano scored Cal Poly’s next 14 points. Campisano capped off her scoring run through one of four first-half three-pointers, giving Cal Poly its largest lead of the game at 23-10 with 3:35 left in the second quarter.
CSUN responded with their only three-pointer of the half from guard Deja Williams. After late jump shots from both teams, Cal Poly went into the break ahead by nine points at 26-17. During the first half, the Mustangs forced eight turnovers and held the Matadors to just seven makes on 22 first-half field goal attempts.
Ellis opened the second half with a layup on the first possession. However, CSUN started to make its way back into the game with an 8-0 run over the next four minutes and 30 seconds. With their lead cut to just three points at 28-25, the Mustangs went on an 8-2 run that was sparked by a layup from junior guard Malia Holt.
Holt was a key player for Cal Poly as she led the team in minutes played (37) and assists (7). With just over 30 seconds left in the quarter, Williams hit another three-pointer to keep CSUN’s deficit at six points.
The fourth quarter began with a jump shot from Roufosse, who had nine points and seven rebounds in her final game inside Mott Athletics Center. Both teams went through a two and a half minute scoring drought after Hayley Tanabe cut the Matadors’ deficit to five points at 42-37.
With just under three minutes remaining, Calloway made a jump shot to bring CSUN within four points. However, the 44-40 deficit was the closest the Matadors would get as Ellis hit a three-point dagger to put the game out of reach with 1:13 on the clock. Campisano contributed four more free throws to secure the 53-43 victory.
The Ellis-Campisano duo combined for 41 of the team’s 53 points. Despite having foul trouble during the game, Ellis scored 15 points in just 20 minutes of work. In addition to her team-high 26 points, Campisano also led the Mustangs in rebounds with nine boards.
“I think my team did a really good job of getting me open and getting me the ball,” Campisano said. “I know my role. And I know if I get hot, that’s good for everyone and it opens up everyone else.”
Cal Poly won in part by dominating in points off turnovers, outscoring CSUN 17-1 in the category. Cal Poly also shot 50 percent from the three-point range and shared the ball more effectively, winning the assists battle 15-10.
Cal Poly will travel to the island to take on Hawai’i on Saturday, March 7 at 9 p.m.