Cal Poly Women’s Basketball faced a double header against UC San Diego, winning 90-68 on Friday, Jan. 1, and losing 63-74 on Saturday, Jan. 2 at RIMAC Arena.
Cal Poly (5-3, 1-1 Big West) split their two-game series with the Toreros (1-1) to open up conference play. Sophomore guard Abbey Ellis finished with 31 points in Friday’s game, her fourth collegiate appearance in which she scored at least 30 points.
In the first game, the Mustangs were up six points going into the second quarter but were unable to maintain the lead. San Diego surged back into the competition, outscoring Cal Poly in the second quarter 27-22, and heading into halftime only a point down at 43-42.
In the second half the Mustangs showcased their defensive capabilities, holding the Tritons to 14 total points in the third quarter and 12 in the final period of the game. Meanwhile, offensive threats Ellis and senior forward Sierra Campisano combined for 54 points throughout the game.
Along with the 90-68 win, the Mustangs’ duo also helped break the single-game program record for three-pointers scored on Friday. Cal Poly hit 17 from 33 attempts, only three shy of the Big West record of 20 threes.
The Mustangs could not regain the same spark in the second game of the series. At the end of the first quarter the Tritons led by three points, and they carried that momentum into the second period increasing their lead to 13 by halftime, at 36-23.
A key element to the Tritons’ success in the first half was nullifying Ellis, not allowing her to score any points in the initial two periods. Although the guard was still able to record 24 points in the second half, it was not enough to make up the deficit.
A push from the Mustangs in the third quarter brought the score to 45-39, but San Diego responded by finishing out the third quarter outscoring Cal Poly 11-6.
The final period saw both teams score 18 points and finished with the Tritons winning 74-63.
After eight games Ellis leads the Big West in scoring at 22.1 points per game on 45.2% shooting from three, while Campisano ranks fourth in the conference with 17.5 points per game on 48% from deep.
Cal Poly look to continue their season this week facing back-to-back games against CSU Bakersfield tipping off on Friday, Jan. 8 in Mott Athletics Center.