Led by Sierra Campisano’s sixth 20-point game of the season, Cal Poly led by seven points early on Saturday against UC Irvine, but the Anteater women’s basketball team rallied at Mott Athletics Center, picking up a 68-57 Big West Conference win.
Campisano made a 3-pointer on the Mustangs’ first possession of the game, before freshman Abbey Ellis added a jumper for a quick 5-0 lead. Soon after, an Ellis layup followed by a jump shot just outside the key by Alicia Roufosse spotted Cal Poly to a 9-2 lead three minutes from the opening tip.
UC Irvine (1-2 BWC; 5-12 overall) quickly answered with an 8-0 run, however, moving into the lead on a Haleigh Talbert 3 with 3:31 remaining in the quarter, en route to a 12-11 lead through the period.
Campisano sank another jumper to regain the lead for the Mustangs, 16-15, early in the second quarter, but the Anteaters would head to halftime up 28-26.
In the third, the Mustangs came back from a 32-26 deficit, tying the game at 34 on a Campisano layup with 4:30 left in the quarter, and then drawing even again at 36-all, thanks to a Hannah Peterson drive at the 3:38 mark.
Ellis then scored to give Cal Poly the lead and added a free throw shortly afterward, making it 39-36 for the Mustangs with 2:16 remaining in the third, but UCI responded again, as a jumper from just outside the lane by point guard Lauren Saiki put the Anteaters ahead 43-42 heading to the fourth.
UCI stretched its advantage to 56-45 with eight consecutive points in the final quarter, taking the 11-point upper hand on a Saiki basket in the key with 6:36 to play. Cal Poly (0-3 BWC; 3-11 overall) pulled within just two possessions back with 2:08 left, when junior guard Chantel Govan knocked down a 3, but the Anteaters answered with four straight free throws by Talbert over the ensuing minute-and-a-half to re-establish their double-digit lead down the stretch.
Campisano shot 8-for-16 overall on the day, including 2-for-4 from 3-point range, and had seven rebounds.
Roufosse nearly recorded her fourth straight double-double for the Mustangs, finishing with 18 points and nine boards.
Cal Poly continues its three-game conference home stand in the week ahead with a pair of Big West games at Mott. The Mustangs first host UC Riverside at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, before taking on UC Davis at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.
-Provided by Cal Poly