The California women’s basketball team (3-0) used an impressive shooting display in the first quarter to build a 19-point lead and cruise to a 74-60 victory and improve to 8-0 all-time against Cal Poly (1 – 3) at Haas Pavilion Monday afternoon. Five different Bears hit 3-pointers in the first quarter, led by Ioanna Krimili who went a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Leilani McIntosh passed former Bear and current WNBA player Layshia Clarendon to move into eighth place on Cal’s all-time career assists list (399) and is just six away from moving into seventh place.
The Bears forced 10 Mustang turnovers which resulted in 17 points in the first quarter. For the game, Cal committed 33 turnovers, the most in any game since 2009 when it forced 34 turnovers against Idaho St. on November 9. Mia Mastrov led with a career-high five steals. As a team, Cal had double-digit steals (15) for the third straight game.
After a first quarter that saw Cal make seven 3-pointers on 77.8% shooting, the offense went cold the rest of the game. A Krimili 3-pointer at the 8:25 mark of the second quarter gave the Bears a 20-point lead, but they didn’t score from the field until Michelle Onyiah hit a layup with about four minutes left in the quarter. Cal’s defense maintained the lead holding Cal Poly without a field goal for the final six minutes of the quarter until the Mustangs made a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left. A 3-pointer by McIntosh at the end of the half gave the Bears a 42-22 lead heading into the break.
In the third quarter, the Bears managed just one field goal, a layup from Onyiah, while the Mustangs ended the quarter on a 10-0 run to go into the fourth quarter down by 10 points. Kemery Martín hit a layup early in the fourth quarter to end the run and back-to-back steals from Mastrov fueled a 6-0 run to extend the lead to 18 with about four minutes left. which is left in the game. Cal Poly cut the deficit to 13 points at the 1:53 mark but never made a big move and battled the rest of the way.
“This is not Cal basketball and we were not on our own tonight,” the Cal head coach said Charmin Smith said. “Credit to Shanele’s (Stires) team. They were scrappy and they kept fighting. We just didn’t look like we were in a rhythm. I’m glad we had this kind of game and still 3-0. We still have work to do. We’re not where we want to be in terms of our goals but where we need to be right now in terms of going 3-0.”
Cal Poly was led by Mary Carter with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Cal heads east on the road to face Auburn on Nov. 17 and Florida A&M on Nov. 20.