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It came down to the last second of overtime for this game to be decided. An intense back and forth battle between the St. Mary’s (7-2) and Cal Poly women’s basketball team (4-4) resulted in a 65-64 overtime loss for the Mustangs.
With a current No. 11 national ranking, St. Mary’s looked to rebound after their disappointing loss at home against Fresno State on Friday. A team that dominates the boards, averaging 13.1 more rebounds per game than their opponents, the Gaels looked to capitalize on their advantages of size and physicality over Cal Poly.
Junior Lauren Nicholson, who formerly played on Australia’s youth national team, leads the Gaels with 18.4 points per game. She faced off against senior guard Ariana Elegado, who is averaging almost 14 points a game and is the Mustang’s hottest scorer.
This game was certainly a battle of grit, but for the Gaels, a face other than Nicholson’s helped overcome late game adversity and seal the deal. Junior Shannon Mauldin paced St. Mary’s with 18 points, hitting clutch shots and essentially controlling the defensive glass throughout the game with nine boards.
As the game seesawed in the final minutes of regulation, victory was up for grabs for both ways. Elegado struggled from the field for most of the game, but came through when the team needed her most.
After two made free throws by St. Mary’s with 7 seconds remaining, Elegado drained a three-pointer with less than a second left to tie the game at 59, sending it to overtime in heroic fashion.
The Mustangs struggled to connect on several shots in the short minutes of overtime, and the Gaels hit two free throws with three seconds left – not enough time for a quality shot by Cal Poly.
The Mustangs now stand at 4-4 in nonconference play and will hit the road for a three-game road trip. Their next matchup will be at New Mexico State on Dec. 16.