The Mustangs won four of their last six regular season games heading into the tournament. Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News, 2023

Cal Poly Women’s Basketball saw its season come to a close following a 63-54 loss to UC Riverside in the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament on Tuesday, March 7 inside Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada.

The seventh-seeded Mustangs (10-18, 7-13 Big West) defeated the 10-seeded Highlanders (6-25, 3-17 Big West) in both of their regular season meetings, the latter of the two on Saturday, March 4, but couldn’t get it done in the postseason.

Riverside jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, but the Mustangs battled back to even the scoring at 13 apiece to end the opening quarter.

The tightly-contested affair continued in the second quarter, as no lead grew by more than four points. The two squads were notched up, 22-22, going into the half.

Out of the locker rooms, Riverside put together a 9-3 run to take a six-point lead. Sophomore guard Annika Shah then nailed a three to cut the Highlander lead to 31-28.

Junior guard Taylor Wu hit a three-pointer at the end of the third to chip away at Riverside’s lead, as the Mustangs trailed 40-37 with a quarter to go.

The Highlanders bursted out of the gate with a nine-point run to separate themselves from Cal Poly in the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs got within five points, trailing 49-44 with five minutes to go. However, Riverside would go on a 13-4 run to put the game out of reach, ultimately winning 63-54.

Sophomore guard Jazzy Anousinh led Cal Poly with 11 points, going 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Shah followed with 10 points of her own. 

The two sides combined for 32 turnovers, with the Mustangs contributing 18.

The young Cal Poly squad will shift its focus to the off-season in preparation for a run at a Big West title next season.