Credit: Courtesy | Cal Poly Athletics, 2022

Cal Poly Women’s Basketball suffered a 65-55 road loss to CSU Northridge to open Big West play on Thursday, Dec. 29 inside Premier America Credit Union Center.

After ending the first half tied at 25-25, the Matadors (2-9, 1-0 Big West) outscored the Mustangs (3-6, 0-1 Big West) 21-12 in the third quarter to pull away.

CSUN jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first quarter. Then, a three-pointer from sophomore point guard Annika Shah got Cal Poly within a point and sparked a 10-point Mustang run to jump out to a 10-4 lead halfway through the opening frame.

The Matadors narrowed the Cal Poly lead to 12-10 with two minutes left, but a layup and a three from senior guard Maddie Willett pushed the Mustangs’ advantage to 17-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Cal Poly shot just over 31% in the opening quarter, but the second proved to be a different story as the Mustangs shot an abysmal 16% compared to the Matadors’ 45%.

With six minutes left in the half, CSUN got within three points of Cal Poly at 22-19. 

Five minutes later, the Matadors closed the half by scoring six unanswered points, tying the game at 25-25.

Opening the second half, the Mustangs and Matadors exchanged baskets until a 38-37 CSUN advantage with four minutes left. Cal Poly failed to score for the rest of the quarter, falling behind 46-37 with a quarter to play.

In the final frame, the Mustangs never got within nine points of the Matadors, ultimately falling 65-55.

Despite CSUN turning the ball over more than the Mustangs (22-21), the Matadors outshot Cal Poly by a wide margin, shooting 49% compared to 27%.

Shah led the Mustangs in scoring, producing a career-high 23 points behind six made threes. 

Cal Poly will look to bounce back in its next meeting with Big West foe Hawaii on Saturday, Dec. 31 inside Mott Athletics Center.