The Cal Poly Women’s Basketball team is now in last place in the Big West Conference after losing to CSUN and UC Riverside.
Thursday at CSUN
Cal Poly (5-16, 2-8) fell 68-52 to CSUN on Thursday, Feb. 14. Senior point guard Dye Stahley led the Mustangs with 17 points, five assists and a career-high eight steals.
CSUN (12-12, 6-4 Big West) controlled the game early, taking a 19-7 lead in the first quarter. Matador senior guard Serafina Maulupe scored eight points in the first quarter.
The Mustangs made the second quarter more competitive by holding the Matadors to just 11 points, but still found themselves down by double digits at halftime, as CSUN lead 30-17.
Cal Poly held CSUN’s star center Channon Fluker to only seven points in the first half. However, she exploded in the second half. Fluker scored 16 of her 23 points came in the final half and helped the Matadors maintain a steady lead by recording 20 rebounds and seven blocks.
CSUN only outscored by three points in the entire second half, but the Matadors’ early lead kept them ahead.
Fluker and the Matador’s defensive performance proved to be the difference in this game, as they held the Mustangs to a 26.9 field goal percentage and a 16.7 3-point percentage. Cal Poly won the turnover battle, committing 16 while forcing 23 by CSUN. However, the Matadors out-rebounded the Mustangs 55-37. Cal Poly only held a one-point lead early in the first quarter in CSUN’s 68-52 victory.
Saturday at UC Riverside
Cal Poly was defeated 80-66 UC Riverside (12-12, 6-4) on Saturday, Feb. 16. The Mustangs’ third-straight loss leaves them just under UC Santa Barbara (6-18, 3-8) in the Big West Conference standings.
Senior forward Devin Stanback scored a team-high 15 points while junior forward Alicia Roufosse added 14 points. Although the Mustangs only committed 13 turnovers, a season-low in Big West Conference play, the team suffered in other areas. Cal Poly came up short with a 41.9 field goal percentage, 28.6 3-point percentage and 30 rebounds to UC Riverside’s 39.
Cal Poly came out strong in the first quarter. Stanback strung together two layups while senior forward Katie Nunnelley added her own layup and Roufosse made a jump shot for an early 9-4 Cal Poly lead. UC Riverside fought back with a group effort from Jannon Otto and Keilanei Cooper, cutting down the Mustangs’ lead to just 15-13 at the end of the opening quarter.
The Mustangs tried to keep the lead throughout the second quarter. Junior forward Hana Vesela added seven points, but fell behind as the quarter wore on. Otto scored nine points for the Highlanders in the second quarter, on the way to a game-high 30 point performance. Otto also set up Highlander Daphne Gnago for a layup that sealed a 33-31 UC Riverside lead going into half time.
In the third quarter, UC Riverside quickly gained a 37-31 lead. The Highlanders pushed their lead to 15 points with 1:38 left in the third quarter, eventually leading 57-45 at the end of the quarter.
Stanback scored five points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer, but UC Riverside maintained their lead. Otto scored nine points in the fourth quarter, solidifying the 80-66 win for Riverside.
Cal Poly hosts UC Riverside for a rematch on Thursday, Feb. 21 inside Mott Athletics Center at 7 p.m. The Mustangs will then host Cal State Fullerton (11-12, 3-7) on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.