FRESNO, Calif. — Cal Poly got out to an 11-10 lead late in the first quarter Wednesday night at Fresno State, but a second-quarter momentum shift ultimately made the difference in the Save Mart Center, as the Bulldog women's basketball team went on a 20-0 run prior to halftime to fuel a 76-58 home-opening win.
The Mustangs quickly scored the first five points of the evening, on a jumper by freshman Maddie Willett followed by a 3-pointer from sophomore Malia Holt. A layup by senior forward Katie Nunnelley with 2:29 remaining in the opening quarter provided the Mustangs an 11-10 lead, but Fresno State regained the upper hand en route to a 14-12 advantage at the close of the period.
Alicia Roufosse converted a layup off a Holt pass 4:18 into the second quarter to cut the deficit to 25-18, but Fresno State then scored 20 straight points over the ensuing four minutes & 15 seconds — taking a commanding 45-18 lead off a Maddi Utti layup with 1:27 remaining until halftime.
A Devin Stanback lay-in 1:14 before the break snapped the Bulldog run, but Fresno State finished the quarter with a 34-8 margin, heading to intermission up 48-20.
Kristina Cavey drove for a layup with 2:33 elapsed in the third quarter to provide the Bulldogs (1-1) their largest lead of the game, 54-22.
Cal Poly, however, chipped away at the lead, closing the gap to 15 heading to the fourth, 59-44, winning the third quarter 24-11.
The Mustangs (1-3) continued their rally early on in the final quarter, pulling as close as 13 points back, as senior point guard Dye Stahley knocked down a 3 with 7:49 left in regulation, narrowing the deficit to 66-53.
Fresno State didn't allow Cal Poly to draw any closer from there, though, as Bree Delaney responded with a 3 just under a minute later, pushing the gap to 69-53 with less than seven minutes to play.
Senior Candice White, the Mountain West's leading scorer a year ago during the Bulldogs' run to the WBI quarterfinals, had 25 points.
Roufosse, a junior forward from Abbotsford, B.C., established new career highs with 15 points (on 6-for-10 shooting) and 13 rebounds, while Stahley also added 14 points for Cal Poly.
Holt, in addition to scoring 10 points, distributed five assists in a 40-minute effort.
The Mustangs will conclude their four-game road trip Sunday at San Francisco (1-0), with tipoff set for 2 p.m. in The Sobrato Center.
Photos © David E. Holmes