Mar 2, 2014 1:09 AM by Bill Halter
Molly Schlemer made her second career three-pointer to force overtime and the Mustangs won the extra session to pull out a 92-87 victory against visiting UC Irvine. The win in front of 1,683 fans at the Mott Athletics Center ended a three game home losing streak for the Mustangs and kept them one game behind first place CS Northridge in the Big West standings. Cal Poly is now 10-5 in conference play, the Anteaters drop to 7-7 in the Big West.
The Mustangs bench played a huge role in the senior day win, contribunting 43 points led by 17 each from sophomore Beth Balbierz and junior Kristen Ale. It was a career high scoring output for Balbierz who made 5 of 8 three point attempts.
Three of Balbiez's long balls helped Cal Poly erase a 10 point deficit (64-54) with 11:06 left in regulation. The three by Schlemer came off a screen and pop with Ariana Elegado with 11 seconds left. The senior center shot with confidence and sent the crowd into a frenzy with her second three pointer as a Mustang. It tied the game at 82 and after a missed shot by Irvine the game went into overtime.
In overtime, Balbierz hit a pair of three's and senior Jonae Ervin hit four free throws to secure the win as the Mustangs outscored the Anteaters, 10-5.
Ervin had 17 points, the senior point guard made 13 of 14 shots from the line to go with two field goals.
Schlemer scored 13 points, all in the second half, after she was limited to just four minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. She recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 11 rebounds. Freshman Hannah Gilbert stepped in for Schlemer in the first half and scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and had two blocks.
Prior to the start of the game, Cal Poly's four graduating seniors were honored. Molly Schlemer, Jonae Ervin, Nwamaka Ofodu and Ariana Elegado. Elegado is a junior athletically, but is a senior academically.
The Mustangs will finish the regular season at UCSB on Saturday.
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