Cal Poly Women’s Basketball has been eliminated from the Big West Conference playoff contention after a 61-49 loss to CSUN on March 2 inside Mott Athletics Center. The senior-day loss for the Mustangs (3-11, 6-19 Big West) ensures that the team will finish in last place in the conference.

The Mustangs were without one of their seniors, forward Devin Stanback, due to illness. Senior point guard Dye Stahley and senior forward Katie Nunnelley both started in the game.

“[Stanback] is one of our main go-to players on the court,” Stahley said. “Obviously, that was a big loss.”

The Matadors (8-5, 14-13) held the lead the entire game from their first basket. CSUN took a commanding 16-6 lead thanks to guard Destiny Brooks, who finished with a team-high 14 points. However, Cal Poly made back-to-back baskets to cut the lead down to 16-10 by the end of the first quarter.

CSUN opened the second quarter with a three-pointer by guard Serafina Maulupe. However, the Matadors picked up three fouls within the first minute of the quarter and Cal Poly found themselves in the bonus with 5:21 remaining. The Mustangs cut the lead down to 25-22 after sophomore forward Kirsty Brown hit two free throws. At one point, Cal Poly tied the game at 27-27 with exactly 4:00 remaining after a three-pointer by freshman guard Maddie Willett. However, CSUN regained a 32-28 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was when the Matadors truly took control of the game. CSUN outscored Cal Poly 19-6 in the quarter, mainly due to poor shooting by Cal Poly. The Mustangs only shot 2-14 — 14.3 percent — from the field while the Matadors went 6-15. CSUN held a commanding 51-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“I think for the most part, it was not necessarily what they did [to take control of the game], it was just mostly what we did,” Stahley said. 

CSUN took their comfortable lead into the fourth quarter and extended it even further. At one point, the Matadors led by 22 points with 6:02 after Maulupe made a jump shot. However, the Mustangs made one last push to get back into the game by going into a full-court press. The Mustangs forced 9 turnovers in the fourth quarter, largely due to this press.

I thought we had really good energy,” Stahley said.

Cal Poly could only cut the lead down to 12 points with 15 seconds remaining as the Matadors picked up a 61-49 win.

The Mustangs struggled on the offensive side, as they only shot 30.6 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three-point range compared to the Matadors’ 41.5 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from beyond it. The Mustangs were also outrebounded 43-33. Junior forward Alicia Roufosse led the team with 16 points and 8 rebounds as she got extended minutes with Stanback out.

“[Roufosse] came in and she stepped up big time,” Stahley said. “It has always been in her, but now she had the opportunity to show that she can be the go-to as well.”

Wednesday at UC Davis

The Cal Poly Women’s Basketball (6-21, 3-13) finished its 2018-19 season with an 87-54 loss to the UC Davis Aggies (22-6, 14-1) on Wednesday, Mar. 6 inside The Pavilion.

The Aggies jumped out to an 18-9 lead. After the first quarter, the Aggies led 20-14.

With a 20-14 lead at the start of the second quarter, The Aggies continued firing with a 7-0 run. The Mustangs cut the lead down to 27-17 after Dye Stahley made a three-pointer with 7:14 remaining. However, the Aggies took control, outscoring the Mustangs 19-7 to take a 39-21 lead at halftime.

To start the second half, Katie Nunnelley made a jump shot prior to Devin Stanback’s two made free throws as Cal Poly pulled within 14 points at 39-25. However, the Aggies responded with a three-pointer by Sophia Song. The Aggies outscored the Mustangs 21-13 in the quarter and took a commanding 60-34 lead into the fourth quarter.

Morgan Bertsch, who leads the Big West with 23.7 points per game, led the Aggies in scoring with 19 points. Nina Bessolo also added 13 points off the bench.

Dye Stahley had a team-high of 14 points, while Alicia Roufousse added 11 points off of the bench.

The Aggies held the Mustangs to only 25 percent shooting from the field and 18.2 percent from three. The Aggies shot a more impressive 50.8 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc.

With the victory, the Aggies extend their conference win streak to 13 games and will have the top seed in the Big West tournament.

Meanwhile, the Mustangs were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to CSUN Saturday, Mar. 2.

Seniors Dye Stahley, Katie Nunnelley, and Devin Stanback played the last game of their career as a Mustang. Stahley is currently tied for first in the Big West in assists per game and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio. Stanback is 14th in the Big West in scoring. Nunnelley is 10th in the Big West in rebounding.

Women’s Basketball has not finished last in their conference since 1998.

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