Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News, 2023

Cal Poly Women’s Basketball came up short against UC Irvine by a score of 68-55 on Thursday, Feb. 9 inside Mott Athletics Center.

The score doesn’t tell the whole story, however, as the Mustangs (6-15, 3-10 Big West) kept it close for most of the game but couldn’t quite capitalize on the Anteaters’ (18-5, 10-2 Big West) mistakes.

UC Irvine didn’t waste any time in the first quarter as they quickly went up 8-0, but Cal Poly battled back to keep it close at 15-12 at the end of the quarter.

Scoring went back and forth throughout the second quarter with the Mustangs chipping away at the UC Irvine lead all the way down to one, but the Anteaters didn’t let up as they took a 29-23 lead into the half.

Sophomore guard Jazzy Anousinh and senior guard Maddie Willett did most of the scoring for the Mustangs in the third quarter, keeping the score close, but the Anteaters did just enough to keep their lead at 41-37 at the end of the quarter.

Cal Poly started off the fourth quarter strongly but couldn’t quite capitalize on the opportunities presented to them on offense, which was the difference in the 68-55 final score.

When asked about the team’s inability to finish on offensive possessions, head coach Shanele Stires said “that’s the million-dollar question.”

Anousinh shared the same sentiment as Stires.

“I think it takes a level of focus that we just need to keep pushing towards,” Anousinh said. “We got the looks we wanted, but we just have to finish and concentrate.”

Individually, sophomore guard Sydney Bourland led the team in points with 13 while junior forward Natalia Ackerman led the team in rebounds with 13.

The Mustangs will look to bounce back at home against CSUN on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. inside Mott Athletics Center.