Cal Poly Women’s Basketball gave up an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter en route to a 52-50 road loss to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Jan. 11.
The Gauchos (6-9, 1-1 Big West) opened up the game with a 7-0 run against the Mustangs (3-10, 0-2 Big West). Junior guard Malia Holt scored the Mustangs’ first two points of the night after 1:37 elapsed in the first quarter. Senior forward Alicia Roufosse added two more points with a layup, but the Gauchos followed with a 6-0 run to increase their lead to 13-4.
The Gauchos’ 6-0 run was capped off with a 3-pointer from Gaucho guard Coco Miller, who scored a game-high 24 points. UC Santa Barbara maintained its lead as the first quarter ended 18-10.
The second quarter saw a momentum switch in favor of the Mustangs. After a Holt layup and a point from Miller started the quarter, the Mustangs went on a 7-0 run of their own to take their first lead of the game at 21-19. Both teams traded points until Roufosse scored a layup and made a free throw to give the Mustangs a 28-24 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Cal Poly continued to outscore UC Santa Barbara, eventually extending its lead to 12 points with 1:53 left in the period. A three-pointer from Coco Miller with 0:42 left in the quarter slashed the Mustangs’ lead to nine before the quarter finished 42-33 in Cal Poly’s favor.
The fourth quarter opened with a three-pointer and layup from Gauchos guard Johnni Gonzalez and junior forward Kirsty Brown in the first minute. Freshman point guard Abbey Ellis scored from downtown to give the Mustangs their 11-point lead with under 8 minutes to play.
After Ellis’ three-pointer, UC Santa Barbara began to claw out of its deficit. Two jump shots from guard Danae Miller, a three-pointer from guard Mira Shulman and back-to-back 3’s from Coco Miller flipped their 11-point deficit into a 2-point lead with under three minutes to play. Junior guard Chantel Govan made a three-pointer with 2:00 left in the game to give Cal Poly a 50-49 lead.
With 0:33 left in the game, Shulman fouled Ellis to send her to the free throw line. However, Ellis missed both free throws and gave UC Santa Barbara an opportunity to score. After a Cal Poly offensive rebound by Brown, Coco Miller fouled Ellis to send her to the line again, where she missed two more free throws with 0:27 left.
With 11 seconds remaining in the game, Danae Miller made a go-ahead layup and scored the and-one free throw to cap off the comeback and give UC Santa Barbara a 52-50 lead.
Despite the loss, Roufosse had a double-double with a career-high 20 points in Saturday’s loss. She also secured 12 rebounds. Govan was second among the team in points scored. All nine of Govan’s points came from beyond the three-point line, going 3-4 on the night.
The Mustangs shot for 36.4 percent from field goal range, compared to the Gauchos’ field goal rate of 38.4 percent. Cal Poly outscored UC Santa Barbara in the paint 18-8.
The Mustangs return to Mott Athletics Center for their next three games. Cal Poly will welcome UC Davis for the first game of the homestand Saturday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.