Cal Poly Women’s Basketball couldn’t keep up with Hawai’i’s three-point shooting and ultimately fell 59-46 on Thursday, Feb. 6 inside Mott Athletics Center.
“We really didn’t come out to the best of our ability, they played a good game, but we did not play our best basketball,” redshirt junior forward Sierra Campisano said.
Cal Poly (5-14, 2-6 Big West) shot 31 percent from the field, while Hawai’i (12-10, 6-3 Big West) shot 36 percent. Hawai’i converted 9 of 36 three-point attempts compared to Cal Poly’s 1 of 10.
The Mustangs were led by a team-high 16 points from Campisano, followed by a career-high 12 points from junior forward Kirsty Brown. Hawai’i redshirt junior forward Amy Atwell scored a game-high 24 points with six three-pointers to help the Rainbow Wahine secure the win.
Cal Poly opened the scoring with a jumper from senior forward Alicia Roufosse. However, Hawai’i quickly responded with a layup by junior guard Jadynn Alexander to even the score at 2-2. Both teams exchanged leads until a layup by senior guard Courtney Middap put the Rainbow Wahine up at 8-6 midway into the quarter.
The Mustangs closed out the first quarter with a 6-0 run led by a spin move jumper from freshman guard Abbey Ellis to put them within one point of the Rainbow Wahine at 13-12.
Cal Poly regained its lead at 14-13 thanks to a layup by Ellis after four scoreless minutes. Hawai’i took just twenty seconds to regain the lead after back-to-back three-pointers from Atwell put them ahead at 19-14 with seven minutes remaining in the half.
The Rainbow Wahine followed with a 14-6 run to extend their lead to 33-20 with just under one minute remaining. Both teams exchanged free-throws to close the half with the Mustangs trailing by 13 at 35-22.
“Our focus wasn’t there and our energy, intensity wasn’t there, so we needed to bring that in the second half if we wanted to try and get back in the game and come out with a win,” Brown said.
In the first half, the Mustangs were led by Brown and Ellis with six points each, while Atwell led the Rainbow Wahine with nine. Cal Poly made 1 of 6 three-point attempts whereas the Rainbow Wahine scored 6 of 15 from beyond the arc.
“Recognizing that [Atwell] had already hit a couple [three-pointers], we needed to force [Hawai’i] to find another way to hurt us instead of hurting us with her,” Brown said.
Brown scored a layup to give the Mustangs their first points of the second half and cut the deficit to 35-24. An Atwell layup granted the Rainbow Wahine their biggest lead of the night, closing the quarter at 50-31.
Cal Poly opened the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run led by a Roufosse layup to cut the lead to 50-37 with just over seven minutes remaining until the final buzzer. Despite the Mustangs outscoring the Rainbow Wahine 15-9 in the final quarter, the closest Cal Poly managed to get was within nine points.
Campisano scored a pair of free-throws as the game drew to a close at 59-46.
“We do a really good job when we dig ourselves into a hole and everyone comes together and brings a lot of energy, so I think if we can find that fire from the first quarter, all of our losses would be different stories,” Campisano said.
The Mustangs outrebounded the Rainbow Wahine 40-38, but lost the turnover battle 8-11.
Cal Poly remains at home for its next game on Saturday, Feb. 8 to take on Long Beach State. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
“We know Long Beach likes to run, likes to pressure, so [we’re] getting ourselves prepared for our run and jump game and being ready to take it to them and get the win this time,” Brown said.