Hot First Half Not Enough in 84-63 Loss at Cal Poly

Dioseline Lopez (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Dioseline Lopez (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Although UCSB scored a season-high 41 points in the first half, it was not enough against Cal Poly who finished ahead in the 84-63 final at the Mott Athletics Center on Saturday.

The Gauchos finish the season 2-27 with a 2-14 conference record, while Cal Poly will bring a 15-13, 10-6 record into the Big West Tournament next week.

In keeping pace with the high-scoring Mustang offense, Dioseline Lopez went 3-3 from three-point range in the first half to lead the Gauchos with 10. The junior finished the game with a career-high 13 points. Following her with 11 points each were Chaya Durr and Makala Roper. Durr shot an efficient 5-6 in doing most of her work in the paint, while Roper hit three triples including two in the opening half.

Onome Jemerigbe paced the game with a personal-best nine assists, as she dished out seven of them in the first half alone. As a team, the Gauchos shot a collective 60 percent in the first and finished with a game-high 46.9 shooting clip.

UCSB had a nice start with a three-pointer dropped in by Kristine Brance just 23 seconds into game action. After Taylor Farris picked off an entry pass, Jasmine Ware nailed a midrange jumper from the baseline to give UCSB the early 5-0 lead.

The Mustangs were struggling from the field initially, but they would tied the game with five straight points from the foul line. Cal Poly's offense eventually got its spark from Ariana Elegado's first downtown make of the day at the 16:49 mark. The senior finished the game with 24 points and eight assists, while making six of her nine looks from three-point land.

Along with the previous free throws, the Mustangs scored 20 unanswered points in taking the 20-5 lead after seven minutes of game action.

Roper had the response for the Gauchos with a right wing triple, which started the slow climb to be back within three points at 42-39.

Ware hit a jumper from the top of the key with 1:39 left in the half to make it a one-possession game. A trio of free throws bolstered the Mustangs' lead, but Durr brought the Gauchos back within four after making tossing up the reverse layup. Cal Poly would have the final say before the break, though, as Elegado hit an off-balanced three-pointer to give her team the 47-41 edge.

The Mustangs went on to extend its lead with their rebounding, as they outrebounded UCSB 47-22 in the game. Taryn Garza and Dynn Leaupepe led in the category with 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively. 

After hitting 60 percent of their shots in the first half, the Gauchos were limited to a 33.3 percent clip in the second.