Cal Poly Women’s Basketball opened Big West Conference play with a back-and-forth game that resulted in a 72-69 loss to Long Beach State Thursday, Jan. 9th inside Walter Pyramid. Freshman point guard Abbey Ellis led the Mustangs with a game-high 28 points, but Cal Poly (3-9,0-1 Big West) failed to contain Long Beach State (6-8,1-0) guards Ma’qhi Berry and Shanaijah Davison, who scored 24 and 19 points, respectively.
The Mustangs came out of the gate with momentum and began the first quarter with a 16-2 run powered by nine points from Ellis and five points from redshirt junior forward Sierra Campisano. However, the rest of the first quarter was dominated by Berry and Davison, who accounted for all 17 of Long Beach’s first quarter points.
After ending the first quarter with a score of 21-17 in favor of Cal Poly, Long Beach took their first lead of the game one minute into the second quarter courtesy of a three pointer by senior forward Cydnee Kinslow. The two squads exchanged baskets throughout the second quarter and ended the half with Long Beach ahead 42-41.
Ellis had 20 points at the half as the only Mustang to reach double digits. On the other side, Berry and Davison had 15 and 13 points, respectively. Cal Poly outshot Long Beach in every shooting category, totaling 57.7 percent from the field, 63.6 percent from three and 80 percent from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Long Beach was held to 51.6 percent, 37.5 percent and 66.7 percent.
In the third quarter, the Mustangs regained the lead again with a three-pointer from junior guard Hannah Peterson that brought the score to 46-45. After more back and forth play, The Beach recaptured the lead from the Mustangs and ended the quarter with a lead of five points at 62-57.
In the final quarter, Cal Poly came back to even the score at 67 with 4:30 remaining in the game thanks to a three pointer from junior guard Malia Holt. However, Long Beach State edged out the victory in the final minutes due to three points from Berry and a last minute jumper from sophomore guard Justina King.
Despite losing the game, the Mustangs produced better team shooting statistics and more rebounds than Long Beach State. Cal Poly ended with three double digit scorers: Ellis, Campisano and senior forward Alicia Roufosse, who also added ten rebounds for a double-double.
Cal Poly will stay on the road and travel to UC Santa Barbara for a Blue-Green Rivalry matchup on Saturday, Jan. 11th at 2 p.m.