Cal Poly Women’s Basketball couldn’t outlast Cal State Fullerton in a thrilling 65-64 loss Thursday, Jan. 30th at Titan Gym. The Mustangs (4-13, 1-5 Big West) were led by redshirt junior forward Sierra Campisano, who dropped 18 points and added 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. The leading scorer for the Titans (11-8, 3-3 Big West) was redshirt junior guard Raina Perez.
The game began with both defenses forcing turnovers and missed shots from both sides. After the first five minutes of the first quarter, the score was just 6-2 in favor of Cal Poly. After some back-and-forth play, the first quarter ended with a score of 15-12 with the Mustangs still on top. Junior guard Chantel Govan accounted for more than half of Cal Poly’s first quarter points, racking up eight points including two three-pointers.
After two free throws from the Titans to open up the second quarter, the Mustang offense caught fire. Cal Poly proceeded to go on a 17-5 run, with nine of those points coming from Campisano. The first half came to a close with the Mustangs holding comfortable 14-point lead at a score of 36-22.
Campisano led the Mustangs at the half with nine points and Govan and senior forward Alicia Roufosse followed with eight apiece.
After a three-pointer by Campisano gave Cal Poly a 20-point lead three minutes into the second half, the Titans offense began to cut away at their deficit. Cal State Fullerton went on a 17-1 run to tie the game at 45 with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter. The Mustangs responded with five unanswered points of their own before the rest of the quarter resulted in points exchanged by both sides. Cal Poly held on to a 56-49 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs got out to a hot start in the fourth quarter and extended their lead to 11 points after a layup from freshman point guard Abbey Ellis. However, the Titans took advantage of an open Mustang defense and went on a 14-1 run, putting them on top 65-63 with 33 seconds remaining.
With just 16 seconds remaining, junior guard Malia Holt was fouled and sent to the free throw line. After hitting the first shot to make it 65-64, she failed to convert the second attempt to tie up the game. Cal Poly failed to make two final layups and fell short by just one point.
Cal State Fullerton shot 42.6 percent from the field as a team, while the Mustangs converted just 36.5 percent of their attempts throughout the night. Although Cal Poly outrebounded and shot a better percentage from beyond the arc, the Titans were able to pull out the victory in part due to their free throw shooting (78.9 percent compared to 66.7 percent by the Mustangs).
Cal Poly will continue conference play against Cal State Northridge Saturday, Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. inside the Matadome.