The Cal Poly Women’s Basketball team lost 75-68 in a double overtime thriller to UC Riverside on Thursday, Feb. 22 inside Mott Athletics Center.
The Mustangs came out aggressive, showing press at the start of the game. Behind their intensity on defense, Cal Poly forced six turnovers and jumped out to a 13-9 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Cal Poly extended that lead to 17-9 after two free throws by freshman guard Maddie Willet. Everything looked like it was going Cal Poly’s way, especially as the Highlanders’ guard Jannon Otto fouled out with 5:47 remaining in the second quarter. Otto, who is fourth in the Big West in scoring with 15.2 points per game, had scored 30 points in UC Riverside’s 80-66 win over Cal Poly on Feb. 16.
“It was our gameplan [to rattle Otto] because the first game she scored 30 points on us,” junior forward Hana Vesela said.
Otto had scored six points before fouling out in the middle of the second quarter.
Despite taking an eight-point lead early in the second quarter, Cal Poly was still outscored 18-12 in the quarter and the Highlanders took a 27-25 lead going into halftime.
The third quarter was when the Highlanders took control of the game. After multiple turnovers by the Mustangs, the Highlanders took their largest lead of the game at 12 points with 6:00 remaining in the quarter.
“I thought really the first couple of plays [in the third quarter] were our errors,” Mimnaugh said. “They got some possessions early off of our errors and they converted.”
“The third quarter has been our problem throughout the season,” junior forward Hana Vesela said. Vesela scored 18 points and had a career-high 12 rebounds.
However, Cal Poly cut the lead down to 42-37 by the end of the third quarter.
Cal Poly fought their way back in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs were getting steals and dove for loose balls. Cal Poly forced six turnovers in the fourth quarter alone and 25 throughout the whole game. Vesela had a chance to win the game for the Mustangs with a pair of free throws, but only made one to tie the score at 56-56 and send the game to overtime.
Neither team could take control in overtime. As a result, the game was tied again 63-63 at the end of the first overtime.
UC Riverside controlled the second overtime as they outscored Cal Poly 12-5 and ultimately defeated the Mustangs 75-68.