Junior guard Ariana Elegado scored nine points in Cal Poly’s 92-87 overtime win against UC Irvine on Saturday.
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The Cal Poly women’s basketball team capped off senior night with a 92-87 overtime win over UC Irvine on Saturday in Mott Athletics Center.
Senior center Molly Schlemer scored 13 points, all in the second half, and led the team with 11 rebounds to notch her 13th double-double of the season. With 11 seconds left, Schlemer hit a clutch 3-pointer — her second career long ball — to tie the game at 82 and send it to overtime.
“It was honestly an out-of body-experience,” Schlemer said of her 3-pointer. “I saw that my teammates were covered and knew that time was running down, so I just launched it.”
With the victory, the Mustangs (16-12, 10-5 Big West) remain in second place in the conference standings, while UC Irvine fell to 14-14 overall and 7-7 in conference play.
Before the game, Cal Poly’s four graduating seniors, Schlemer, Jonae Ervin, Nwamaka Ofodu and Ariana Elegado, were honored with their families supporting them on the court.
However, Cal Poly’s seniors were off to a slow start in the first half. Schlemer was limited to just four minutes of play in the first period because of foul trouble, and point guard Elegado struggled from the field as she shot hit 1 of 9 from the field.
Despite the starters’ struggles, key members of Cal Poly’s bench kept the Mustangs in the game as they accounted for 43 points on the night.
Junior Kristen Ale hit 4 of 8 from the field and two of five from 3-point land. Her 17 point outburst from the bench kept the Mustangs in the game late.
Cal Poly sophomore Beth Balbierz scored a career-high 17 points off the bench, 15 of which came in the second half. She hit 5 of 8 shots from behind the arc to help bring the Mustangs back within striking distance with several minutes remaining.
In overtime, Balbierz hit a pair of 3-pointers and Ervin hit four free throws to secure the win as the Mustangs outscored UC Irvine 10-5 in the extra session.
Ofodu added 10 points as she hit 4 of 5 from the floor and both attempts from long range, and also added nine rebounds in the effort.
The overtime thriller saw 21 lead changes and 14 ties in the marathon win for the Mustangs. Cal Poly shot 39 percent from the floor and hit 13 3-pointers.
“I thought our Mustangs showed great pride and heart in this game, especially when it was gut-check time when we were down 10 points in the second half,” head coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “So many contributions from both our seniors and underclassmen make this game such a great team win.”
Kelly Meggs and Camille Buckley each scored 22 points to lead the Anteaters. Vanessa Aguilar added 14 points and Lauren Spinazze scored 12 points.
The Mustangs will play their regular-season finale on March 8 when the team travels to UC Santa Barbara. Tip-off is set for 2 pm.