Cal Poly Women’s Basketball advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament after defeating Long Beach State 59-48 on Tuesday, March 10 inside Walter Pyramid. The victory marks the Mustangs’ first Big West Tournament win since 2016 when they beat Cal State Northridge 72-51 in the first round.
Redshirt junior forward Sierra Campisano scored a game-high 30 points and added 13 rebounds in the win. Freshman point guard Abbey Ellis scored 20 points and collected eight rebounds of her own. Together, the duo combined for 50 of the Mustangs’ 59 points.
Cal Poly entered the tournament as the lowest seed (No. 8) with a 6-10 Big West record, while Long Beach State were the No. 5 seed with an 8-8 record.
The Mustangs opened the first quarter with a 5-0 lead thanks to a layup by Ellis. However, Long Beach State tied the game at 5-5 with 4:42 remaining in the quarter. After The Beach tied the game again at 7-7, Campisano scored five consecutive points to extend the lead to 12-7. The Mustangs led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Cal Poly extended its lead to 17-11 after opening the second quarter with another 5-0 run. Long Beach State responded by cutting the lead to 20-17 with 4:57 remaining, causing head coach Faith Mimnaugh to call a timeout. Both teams were still at a stalemate as the Mustangs held a close 25-21 lead at the end of the quarter. The Mustangs narrowly outscored The Beach 13-10 in the second quarter.
Cal Poly took control of the game in the third quarter after outscoring Long Beach State 21-13. The Mustangs opened the scoring in the second quarter with a layup by senior forward Alicia Roufosse. Cal Poly reached its largest lead of the game at 39-26 thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Campisano. After The Beach cut the lead to 39-31, Ellis responded with a three-pointer to push the lead to 42-31 with 3:53 remaining. The Mustangs scored the last four points and held a 46-34 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Long Beach State tried to make a push for a comeback in the fourth quarter by cutting the lead to 49-42 with 4:09 remaining. However, Campisano responded with five consecutive points to extend the lead to 54-42. Cal Poly’s offensive efforts were enough to close out the contest at 59-48.
The Mustangs struggled with turnovers as they recorded 26 compared to Long Beach State’s 10.
Despite the immense amount of turnovers, the Mustangs held The Beach to 26.9 percent (18 of 67) shooting from the field and 10.7 percent (3 of 28) from three.
With the victory, Cal Poly will advance to the quarterfinals and face the No.3 seeded UC Irvine on Wednesday, March 11 at 6 p.m.