Junior guard Ariana Elegado scored a game-high 14 points as the Cal Poly women’s basketball team won its third straight game with a 63-54 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.
Mustang News Staff Report
It was bound to be close.
Though Cal Poly edged out a 63-54 victory over Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday night, the two squads’ statistics were almost identical before tipoff.
Cal Poly was averaging 72.4 points per game on the season, a fraction of a point higher than the Roadrunners’ 72.2. Cal State Bakersfield’s 42.5 rebounds per game were just shy of Cal Poly’s 43.8.
The Mustangs, 4-4 heading into Saturday’s contest, picked up a pair of wins at the Cal Poly Holiday Beach Classic last weekend and tipped its record to 5-4 with the triumph over the Roadrunners, giving the Mustangs their first three-game win streak of the season.
Senior center Molly Schlemer, Cal Poly’s leading scorer, went ice cold in a gridlock first half on Saturday as she notched only two points.
Junior guard Ariana Elegado, also one of Cal Poly’s top scorers, couldn’t sink much in the first. It was guard Nwamaka Ofodu who sparked Cal Poly’s offense.
The senior team captain scored a career-high nine points in the first frame while recording a steal and a pair of offensive rebounds.
Taryn Garza also stepped up, taking advantage of opportunities on both sides of the ball. The junior was one point away from a double-double on the night with her 11 rebounds. She shot 44 percent from the field.
Still, the Roadrunner’s 25 rebounds in the first bested Cal Poly’s 22, and a late surge in the half left the Mustangs with a narrow 29-28 lead at the break.
But the Mustangs got a push as shots started to sink for Elegado in the second. The guard put up 14 points on the night as she went 5 for 6 from the line.
The Roadrunners, led on offense by Brooklynn Hinkens, wouldn’t go quietly. Though shots weren’t falling for Cal State Bakersfield, the Roadrunners stayed within 10 points until the end. With some insurance free throws from Elegado, Cal Poly held on for the win.
The Mustangs’ 63 points were their lowest tally in a victory all season. They’re previous low was 72 in a win over New Mexico State on Nov. 18.
All five of Cal Poly’s victories have come in Mott Athletics Center this season, but the Mustangs will be away from home for the next month. Cal Poly hits the road for the rest of December, finishing off its non-conference schedule with Pepperdine on Dec. 16, followed by Portland, Oregon and UCLA.
Big West Conference play begins on Jan. 8 as Cal Poly travels to Hawaii. The Mustangs host UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 11 for their conference home-opener.
Jacob Lauing contributed to this report.