By Marvin Luu
The UCI women’s basketball team (4-19, 1-8) suffered their third straight loss at Cal Poly (11-11, 4-5) this Saturday after a 12-6 run in the second quarter shifted the momentum towards the Broncos for a 50-38 victory. With the loss, UCI is now 2-11 on the road.
While junior forward Mokun Fajemisin had crashed the boards for the ‘Eaters, grabbing a career high 16 rebounds to add to her five points, UCI was collectively out-rebounded by Cal Poly, 52-43.
Senior guard Raelyn Cheung-Sutton played all 40 minutes of the game and was the only ‘Eater to put up double digit numbers with 13 points on 4-12 shooting. Junior guard Irene Chavez trailed Cheung-Sutton by five with eight points off the bench.
After trading basket after basket and tying up the score at 13-13 in the first period, the Mustangs fell behind guard Lynn Leaupepe, who finished the quarter with seven, and came out on a quick 7-0 turnaround to push the lead out to 20-13. Layups from Fajemisin and Chavez shaved off the deficit to just one before Leaupepe would answer with a couple more baskets of her own.
Trailing by six at the start of the third, UCI failed to string together some well-needed offensive possessions, shooting an abysmal 18.8 percent from the floor. Fortunately, Cal Poly also hit a dry spell, allowing Cheung-Sutton to hit two consecutive triples heading towards the three minute mark of the period to bring the ‘Eaters within two points, 29-27.
From that point on, UCI was held scoreless until Cheung-Sutton hit a jumper with just 7:36 remaining in the game. By then, Cal Poly had created a nine-point cushion off a pair of lay-ins from Mustangs guard Beth Balbierz and a couple of baskets from the charity stripe from Leaupepe. Before the end of the game, the Mustangs would go on to convert 15 of their 19 shot attempts from the line.
Following their brief trip to the Mott Athletic Center, UCI will return to the Bren Even Center Thursday for a 7:00pm tip off against Santa Barbara. It will be UCI’s first matchup against the Gauchos this season.