Mar 7, 2013 9:39 PM by Andrew Masuda
Led by Ariana Elegado and Molly Schlemer, the Mustangs ran away from the Anteaters with a dominant second half in a 74-46 win on Thursday night to enter a tie for first place in the Big West Conference with one game to play.
The Cal Poly women extended their winning streak to six games and improved to 13-4 in conference and 19-9 overall. UCI dropped to 5-12 in league.
The Mustangs stormed out to a 20-3 lead in the first half. Cal Poly led 9-0 after Caroline Reeves, Kayla Griffin and Ariana Elegado poured in back-to-back-to-back 3 point buckets.
UC Irvine took advantage of 12 Cal Poly turnovers in the first half to climb to within 27-22 at halftime.
The Mustangs dominated the final twenty minutes of the game. They outscored UCI 49-14 in the second half and outshot the Anteaters 57 percent to 17 percent. Elegado hit two 3-pointers and went 8 for 8 from the free throw line to score 14 points in the second half. She led the Mustangs with 20 points in the game. Schlemer added 12 points in the second half to finish with 18 points and 9 rebounds.
Cal Poly dominated every statistical category. The Mustangs shot 48 percent from the floor to 22 percent for UCI. Cal Poly was 6 for 11 (55%) from 3-point range compared to 1 for 17 (6%) for the Anteaters. The Mustangs pulled down 16 offensive rebounds to finish with 46 total boards. UCI had 25 rebounds overall.
"During halftime we all got together and were like we're better than that and we realized we needed to pull it together. I know myself I wasn't happy with the first half," said Schlemer, who's scored 10 or more points in 14 of her last 15 games.
"We wanted to go for the steals and get in the passing lanes so our defense really helped us out this game and gave us an advantage in the second half. So if we keep playing good defense I think we've got this for sure," said Elegado.
The Mustangs can clinch at least a share of their third-straight Big West regular season title and the number one overall seed for the Big West Conference Tournament with a victory on Saturday over Long Beach State or a Pacific loss. Tip off Saturday in the Mott Athletics Center is at 4 pm.
Idle Pacific is also 13-4 in conference and plays UC Davis on Saturday.
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