CSUF women’s basketball defeated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 78-64 on Saturday to improve to 2-1 in Big West Conference play and 10-6 overall.
“We battled hard,” Head Coach Jeff Harada said. “I’m proud of our kids for just fighting, for giving us everything that they had.”
With their loss to the Titans, the Mustangs have dropped four of their last five games and are 1-6 on the road.
CSUF’s defense limited the Mustangs to just 37.7 percent from the field compared to the Titans’ 53.7 percent.
The team is 5-2 when making 45 percent or more of its shots this season.
Four Titans reached double figures in scoring with three of them notching 15 or more points on the night.
After a 24 point loss to UC Davis on Thursday night, the Titans set the tone on offense early versus Cal Poly on Saturday, going on an 8-2 run to begin the game.
Center Daeja Smith made her presence felt as she scored eight points in the first quarter, making three of her four shot attempts.
Smith finished with 19 points while securing 10 rebounds to record her fifth double-double of the season.
However, Cal State Fullerton was down by two points after the first ten minutes of play.
With nine players over six feet tall, the Mustangs used their height advantage to out rebound the Titans. Nine of Cal Poly’s 26 rebounds in the first half were on the offensive end. Cal Poly had 43 rebounds as a team compared to the Titans’ 32.
This allowed them to have more possession of the basketball, including the final basket of the first half as Mustangs point guard Dye Stahley made a jump shot to tie the game at 31.
Despite heading to the locker room at halftime with the score tied, the Titans continued to be aggressive, starting the second half on a 12-4 run.
Senior guard Hannah Thompson pulled out of her offensive slump as she scored 11 points, including two consecutive three pointers that gave the Titans a 31-28 lead with 1:54 left to play in the first half.
Thompson was responsible for three of Cal State Fullerton’s seven three pointers on the night and reached double digits in points for the first time since her 16-point performance on Dec. 22 versus the University of the Pacific.
“With Daeja’s presence, it opened the floor up a lot for our shooters. It’s easier to knock down when it’s a wide open shot and a good pass,” Thompson said.
Cal Poly’s Devin Stanback, who leads the Mustangs in points per game this season, struggled to score five points on two-of-six shooting from the field.
Amiee Book, who leads the Big West in three point shooting percentage, continued to put her shooting from behind the arc on display, making two threes.
Book finished with 15 points, converting 66.7 percent of her shots on the floor. She appreciates the trust that Harada has placed in her this early in her collegiate career.
“We’ve always had that strong bond from the start … I can’t wait to just keep building on it,” Book said.