Junior guard Ariana Elegado scored 30 points in a 88-70 win over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
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It was a night filled with milestones as two Mustangs broke personal and school records. Cal Poly defeated Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara 88-70 in the Mott Athletics Center on Saturday and moved to 2-0 in conference play.
Coming off a career-high 37 points on Wednesday, senior guard Jonae Ervin broke the all-time Cal Poly women’s basketball assist record, passing Laura Buehning (390) with 394 career assists.
“I just love setting up my teammates,” Ervin said.
Senior center Molly Schlemer and senior guard Ariana Elegado produced 30 of the Mustangs’ first 31 points of the game and 67 of the team’s 88 total points.
Schlemer recorded her eighth double-double of the season with a career-high 37 points and 15 rebounds. The Santa Maria native was successful in the paint against the Gauchos, making 16 of her 20 shots in the game.
“To do it against UCSB, our rival, just feels great,” Schlemer said. “Credit to my teammates for giving me the ball and recognizing that I was going to work inside, but it’s just unbelievable, 37.”
Prior to the game, the plan was to pound it inside with the height advantage that Schlemer brings, head coach Faith Mimnaugh said.
“She was great,” Mimnaugh said. “Every time, she was money. Every time we gave her the ball she pretty much scored. She’s a load.”
Elegado led the team in scoring at halftime and finished the game with 30 points, one less than her career best.
Cal Poly shot an efficient 50 percent from the field and the defense kept the Gauchos’ “big three” in check, Mimnaugh said.
“They’re some real great players to go against,” she said. “It took every single bit of effort that we had to try to neutralize them.”
The Mustangs led the Gauchos 46-39 at the half, but they quickly separated themselves from UC Santa Barbara in the second. The improvement in the second frame was a result of the halftime talk, Mimnaugh said.
“I didn’t feel we were as strong defensively as we needed to be,” she said. “I challenged them to pick it up.”
In the second half, the Mustangs held the Gauchos to just 31 points and 30 percent shooting.
“I was really proud our team stayed with the game plan,” Mimnaugh said. “Anytime we beat Santa Barbara it’s a feather in our cap.”
The Mustangs moved to 8-7 overall and 2-0 in conference play, and will travel to Cal State Northridge (5-10) for a Big West matchup on Thursday looking to maintain sole possession of first place in the conference standings.
“We’re just going to keep working at it, taking it one game at a time,” Schlemer said. “A championship is in the future.”