Graduate Oumou Toure led both teams with 18 points on Thursday. Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News, 2023

Cal Poly Women’s Basketball dropped its third straight conference game to Long Beach State by a score of 57-54 on Thursday, Jan. 26 inside Walter Pyramid.

The Mustangs (5-12, 2-7 Big West) fell into a hole early against the Beach (12-7, 7-2 Big West), and a second-half comeback effort fell just short.

The teams traded baskets in the first until late in the quarter when a 9-2 run allowed the Beach to jump out to a 12-point lead. Just before the end of the first, a jumper from senior guard Maddie Willett cut it to 10 at 23-13.

Cal Poly responded in the second, outscoring Long Beach State 13-8 to inch to within five heading into halftime.

The third half was tightly contested, as the teams went back and forth throughout, but it was Cal Poly that came away with the one-point advantage to bring the score to 43-39 in favor of the Beach ahead of the final quarter.

The Beach opened up the fourth with a 5-2 run to make it a seven-point lead, but graduate guard Oumou Toure responded with a 6-0 run on her own to make it a one-point game.

After a Long Beach State, sophomore point guard Annika Shah answered again for the Mustangs, hitting two free throws to make it a one-point game with 57 seconds left to play.

Cal Poly then was forced to put the Beach at the line, where they converted one of two free throws before grabbing a rebound to regain possession.

After another Mustang foul, Long Beach State went 1-for-2 at the line once again, leading to a Cal Poly timeout down three points.

With seven seconds to play, Toure received the ball off the inbounds in the right corner, faked a drive and stepped back for a three. The shot bounced off the back of the rim and was tipped out of bounds by a Long Beach State player, giving the Mustangs a second crack at it.

With 0.6 seconds left on the clock, the pass intended for Shah was tipped away, and the buzzer sounded without a shot going up, clinching the win for the Beach.

Touru led the team in scoring with 18 points, while junior forward Natalia Ackerman chipped in eight points off of the bench. Sophomore shooting guard Sydney Bourland led the team in both assists and rebounds with five and seven, respectively. 

The Mustangs will hit the road to face Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. inside Titan Gym.