Cal Poly women’s basketball won their first and only exhibition game of the season by a score of 81-57 against Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday, Nov. 6 inside Mott Athletics Center.
The Mustangs were back in action after an offseason filled with headlines, including a Big West title run last season and the loss of their Big West all-conference team selections from a year ago in Sierra Campisano and Abbey Ellis.
In the first quarter the Mustangs pushed the ball in transition whenever possible, and got quite a few easy baskets in the process. Graduate forward Kirsty Brown was dominant all day long, logging a game high in both points and rebounds with 19 and 11 to go along with two steals, two blocks and two assists. Junior point guard Maddie Vick, another returner, also played well as the offensive facilitator. At the end of the first, Cal Poly held onto a five point lead 19-14.
Cal Poly started to take control of the game throughout the second quarter thanks to solid play from freshman point guard Annika Shah. Shah provided a momentum boost with a straight away three-pointer, and a steal at midcourt that she took in for a layup.
Junior guard Maddie Willett hit a shot from beyond the arc shortly before the half was over and Cal Poly had a 43-26 lead heading into the locker room.
In the second half the Mustangs provided more of the same and the lead grew as the Mustangs rotated players regularly to keep fresh legs on the floor.
Halfway through the third quarter the defense forced a steal, which led to a sequence of passes that resulted in an easy layup for senior forward Hannah Scanlan. This extended the lead to 57-32. After a run by San Bernardino, the quarter ended with Cal Poly leading 62-43.
The fourth quarter was fast paced despite the score, as the Mustangs were looking to push the tempo the entire game. Cal Poly kept the pressure on for the final ten minutes leading to a 81-57 final score.
The big story of the game was the impact of the new players to the roster. With six true freshmen, one redshirt freshman and one transfer student, the roster this year looks much different than last year. Shah (12 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal) along with fellow freshman shooting guard Sydney Bourland (17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal) were the big performers for the day.
Cal Poly will start non-conference regular season play with their first game against Santa Clara on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. inside Leavey Center.