Junior forward Kristina Santiago has played with Mustang’s for more than two years. In her career at Cal Poly, she has never seen anyone as fast as Roadrunners’ point guard Phynique Allen.
With seven seconds on the clock, and the game deadlocked at 81-81, Allen grabbed an inbounds pass, ran down the court and scored a layup to put the Roadrunners (13-9) over the Mustangs (13-7), 83-81 as time expired.
“Allen is so quick, she is probably one of the quickest players I have seen,” Santiago said. “She ran down the court and scored a lay-up. I don’t know how else to put it.”
The Mustangs rallied back from a 10-point deficit within the final four minutes to tie the game, but the Mustangs didn’t have enough to edge out the Roadrunners.
“The last minutes are crunch time, you gotta know what to do, when to step up on the ball,” Santiago said. “It happened so quick in the end; now that’s happened, it better not happen again.”
The lighnting-fast Allen represented a bigger problem for the Mustangs than just her scoring abilities. Allen was able to use her quickness to penetrate driving lanes and create open looks.
“They pretty much had wide-open threes whenever they wanted them,” Santiago said. “We were playing them as a penetrating team, which they were because they were so quick, but once they penetrated they would kick out … They were just killing us from the three-point line.”
During the first half, Cal State Bakersfield shot a quiet 35 percent from the three-point line, but in the second half they shot near 60 percent from long range. Even though the Mustangs erased a 10-point lead with four minutes left by shooting 50 percent from the field, the three-point showcase was just too much for the Mustangs to overcome.
“We’re going down scoring two pointers and they’re coming back shooting three pointers, it just kind of adds up after a while,” Santiago said.
Cal State Bakersfield held five scorers who tallied double-figures. Allen and guard Amber Williams finished with 20 and 22 points respectively. Allen added 10 assists as well.
“She pretty much did what she wanted on the court,” Santiago said.
Despite the loss, Santiago looked at it as a game her team could benefit from.
“It was a good learning experience — I think we can definitely take a lot away from it,” Santiago said. “I’m glad it wasn’t a conference game.”
Foul trouble forced Santiago to see the floor for only three minutes in the first half, but Santiago responded with 18 points in the second. Santiago racked up a total of 22 points and seven rebounds.
“I came out in the second half and played really hard … my mindset was to attack,” Santiago said.
Junior guard Rachel Clancy finished with a career-best 24 points, hitting 62 percent of her shots from the field.
Cal Poly is still off to its second-best start in program history. It will face off against conference-leading UC Davis at home Thursday night.