The Cal Poly women's basketball team picked a bad time to have its worst offensive performance of the season.
The No. 2-seeded Mustangs shot 18 percent from the field in the first half of their Big West Tournament semifinal game against No. 5 seed CSUN on Friday afternoon in Anaheim, digging themselves a 20-point halftime deficit. Things didn't get any better for Cal Poly in the second half as CSUN (18-15, 8-8 Big West) stepped on the gas and rolled to a 73-50 win.
Cal Poly (17-12, 11-5 Big West) came into the game with byes through the first two rounds of the tournament thanks to its second-place regular-season finish, giving them the No. 2 seed, boasting one of the best offenses in the Big West. The Mustangs were averaging 73 points per game led by the conference's top scorer, senior Dynn Leaupepe.
But Cal Poly was sluggish on offense and defense from the start, possibly due to the lingering affects of food poisoning that sent five players to the hospital during Cal Poly's final road trip of the season in Hawai'i last week. The Mustangs finished the game shooting 3-of-28 from 3-point range.
Head coach Faith Mimnaugh put Cal Poly in a zone defense to start the game in an attempt to slow down CSUN's back-to-back Big West Player of the Year Channon Fluker, but the switch didn't work as the Matadors scored 24 points in the first quarter. Fluker finished with 14 points, and CSUN's Tessa Boagni had a game-high 19 points.
Leaupepe, who came into the game averaging 21 points per game, was held to 12 points. Leaupepe, along with her twin sister Lynn Leaupepe, who scored a team-high 13 points Friday, will be two of the seven seniors graduating after the season.
Despite losing out on a chance to qualify for the Women's NCAA Tournament, Cal Poly is expected to be invited to the Women's NIT due to its second-place Big West finish. Selections will be announced Monday.
Cal Poly last reached the NCAA Tournament in 2013.
Men's season ends with 22-point loss to UCSB in Big West tourney
It was an ugly end to the Cal Poly men's basketball season Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament against UC Santa Barbara.
Cal Poly (9-22) managed just 18 first-half points and went 3-for-16 from 3-point range on the way to a 75-53 loss at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
UCSB (23-8), who entered as the No. 2 seed, had a 19-2 first-half run and led No. 7 seeded Cal Poly 45-18 at the break. Cal Poly went more than 10 minutes without making a field goal and shot 23.8 percent before the break — season lows for a half.
The Cal Poly offense picked it up in the second half, but it was too little too late. Senior Victor Joseph led Cal Poly with 13 points in the final game of his college career, but no other Cal Poly player scored more than six points.
The 9-22 record for Cal Poly marks the worst season in head coach Joe Callero's nine-year tenure at the school. His last winning season came in 2012-13 when the team went 18-14.