Annika Shah led all scorers with 18 points on Friday. Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News, 2022

Cal Poly women’s basketball won in their first action of the season in an exhibition game by a score of 90-48 against UC Santa Cruz on Friday, Nov. 4 inside Mott Athletics Center.

This was the Mustangs’ first time playing under new head coach Shanele Stires after previous coach Faith Mimnaugh’s retirement after 25 seasons at Cal Poly.

Coach Stires preached “grittiness” before the season and it showed on Friday.

The Mustangs dominated on all sides of the ball as they grabbed the lead early and didn’t look back, never giving up the lead while shooting 60% from the field and 43% from three-point range.

In the first half, the Cal Poly defense was all over the UC Santa Cruz offense and held the Banana Slugs to only 22 total points. The defense almost never allowed UC Santa Cruz to score in the paint and forced them to make contested shots, leading to a Cal Poly 44-22 advantage at halftime.

It was all Cal Poly in the second half as well, as the Mustangs opened up with a 15-4 run while the defense held UC Santa Cruz to 26 total points.

The Mustangs put the game away in the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run to end the game with their largest lead at 90-48.

The Cal Poly offense played fast and physical, with sophomore point guard Annika Shah leading the charge with 18 points (7-10 FG) in 22 minutes of play. 

Junior transfer guard Taylor Wu showed off her skill by adding 13 points (5-8 FG) of her own in 24 minutes of play in her Cal Poly debut.

The Mustangs will start non-conference regular season play at UCLA on Monday, Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. inside Pauley Pavilion.