Cal Poly women’s basketball fell 85-71 to CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday, Feb. 22 inside Icardo Center.

Cal Poly (3-18, 2-10 Big West) lost their fourth straight matchup while Bakersfield (4-16, 3-8 Big West) won their second consecutive Big West matchup after coming off of a three-game losing streak. 

Junior forward Julia Nielacna had an efficient night on the offensive end, scoring a season-high 21 points in 25 minutes on 8-17 shooting. She also led the team with six rebounds. Two other Mustangs, junior guard Maddie Willett and freshman point guard Jazzy Anousinh, scored in double figures with 14 points and 11 points, respectively. 

CSU Bakersfield jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, going up 7-2 nearly halfway through the quarter. The Mustangs then responded with a 13-3 run to go up by a score of 15-10 with just over two and a half minutes remaining in the first quarter. 

However, a layup with three seconds remaining by the Roadrunners gave CSU Bakersfield a 16-15 lead going into the second quarter.

The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair with neither team taking control of the game. The Roadrunners never took more than a one-point lead the entire period, including a 29-28 lead with 3:21 left before the half. The Mustangs finished the quarter on a 9-4 run to take a 37-33 lead into the break. 

The second half was a different story. The Roadrunners, led by Andie Easley’s 20 points and five assists, opened the quarter on a 7-2 run to take a two-point lead by a score of 41-39.

A three-pointer by Easley with 1:20 remaining gave the Roadrunners a seven-point lead, their largest of the quarter. Nielanca answered with an and-one with 15 seconds left in the third to cut the lead to four going into the fourth. 

The fourth quarter is when CSU Bakersfield pulled away, as they opened up the quarter on an 11-2 run to push the lead to 13 with 6:43 left in the game. A three-pointer by Easley with just under five minutes left pushed the lead to 16, their largest of the game. 

The Mustangs cut the deficit to eight points, but that is as close as they got. Free throws down the stretch secured the win for the Roadrunners by a score of 85-71. 

The team will take on Big West leader Hawai’i on Saturday, Feb. 26 for senior night and their final game of the year inside Mott Athletics Center.

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