Cal Poly Women’s Basketball blew out UC Santa Barbara in a Blue-Green rivalry game 76-46 on Friday, March 5 inside Mott Athletics Center.
The Mustangs (12-9, 8-7 Big West) were too much for the Gauchos (6-13, 6-9 Big West) to handle from the opening tip until the final buzzer. Senior forward Sierra Campisano was one of eleven Mustangs to score as she led all players on the day with 17 points.
Cal Poly also out shot UCSB by converting 49.3% of their field goals on the day, compared to just 30% from Santa Barbara. The Mustangs also made an impressive 43.5% of their three-pointers, while the Gauchos made 31.6% of their attempts from beyond the arc. UCSB converted all ten of their free throw attempts, while Cal Poly did not attempt a free throw on the day.
In the first quarter, UCSB struck first with a quick jump shot from point guard Danae Miller. Campisano got the scoring going for Cal Poly with a turnaround jump shot on the baseline. After a steal by sophomore guard Abbey Ellis resulted in an easy layup, Miller made another jump shot to tie the game 4-4. The Gauchos made two free throws with 6:55 remaining in the quarter to take a two-point lead.
However, these were their last points of the quarter as the Mustangs turned up the defensive intensity. An 11-0 run to end the quarter, including three buckets from sophomore guard Maddie Willett, helped Cal Poly establish a 15-6 lead at the end of the quarter.
Sophomore guard Maddie Vick started the second quarter off with a three-pointer off of a turnover. The first points for Santa Barbara came on two free throws with 7:52 remaining until halftime, ending their nine-minute scoring drought dating back to the first quarter. The Mustangs would not let off the gas pedal, continuing to build on their lead. Senior guard Malia Holt scored on a jump shot with under a minute remaining to give Cal Poly a 21-point lead, their largest of the half. A UCSB three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining cut the Mustang lead to 18 at halftime.
Miller hit a three-point jump shot for UCSB to start off the half. Senior forward Kirsty Brown hit a straightaway jump shot before recording her third foul of the game. Junior forward Hannah Scanlan checked in and provided major energy off the bench in the place of Brown.
Almost three minutes into the quarter, Holt tossed Scanlan a beautiful pass for the finish, one of Holt’s game high seven assists. The closest the Gauchos made the game was cutting the lead to 14 on a jump shot with 3:28 remaining. The Mustangs responded by ending the quarter on a 12-2 run, going 4-4 from the three-point line over that time, including three from Willett.
The fourth quarter featured a slower pace than the rest of the game. Ellis scored seven of the Mustangs’ first nine points of the quarter, including a nifty up-and-under layup. Freshman power forward Lucy Collins finished a tough shot in the key to give the Mustangs a 30-point lead. Cal Poly would hold on to the 30-point margin until the final buzzer.
Willett and Ellis chipped in 15 and 14 points respectively. Willett had a team high seven rebounds, while Ellis had a game high four steals. Cal Poly had 28 points in the paint compared to 14 for the Gauchos. The Mustangs also dominated the assists category 28-12. Finally, a 19-2 disparity in points off turnovers helped contribute to Cal Poly’s biggest win of the season.
The Mustangs will look to continue the momentum with another rivalry game against the Gauchos on Saturday, March 6 at Mott Athletics Center.