SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior Molly Schlemer scored a career-high 28 points while the Cal Poly women's basketball team, playing in its first triple overtime game in school history, defeated Pacific, 96-95, in a Big West Conference game on Saturday in Mott Gym.
With the win the Mustangs improve to 9-6 overall and 3-1 in Big West play while Pacific suffers its first conference loss of the season and drops to 2-1 in the Big West and 12-3 overall.
With the Mustangs trailing 95-94 with eight seconds left in the third overtime, junior Jonae Ervin coolly stepped to the line and made both free throws to give Cal Poly the lead, 96-95, then did not allow Pacific to get a shot off in the closing seconds.
But the Mustangs had another dramatic moment just to get to the first overtime. The Mustangs trailed, 75-72 when senior Kayla Griffin collected a rebound and converted a layup and was fouled with four seconds on the clock. Griffin went to the line and tied the game sending it into the first overtime.
The game overall had 12 lead changes and 14 tied scores.
Schlemer led all scorers in setting her new career-high when she made 13 of 17 shots from the floor and grabbed nine rebounds. Schlemer's previous career-high came in the first game of the year against No. 24 Oklahoma State when she scored 21.
Senior Caroline Reeves came off the bench to score a season-high 16 points when she made seven of 10 field goals including a three-pointer. Sophomore Ariana Elegado added 15 points hitting seven of 17 shots from the floor. Ervin was the fourth Mustang in double figures when she scored 11 points while adding six assists. Griffin led the team with 13 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists.
Pacific had all five of its starters score in double figures led by Ashley Wakefield with 23 points. Gena Johnson scored 17 points with Erica McKenzie and Kendall Rodrigues each scoring 15. Kendall Kenyon added 13 of her own.
Cal Poly shot 49 percent from the floor for the game and made six of 16 shots from long range. The Mustangs grabbed 44 rebounds and dished out 22 assists. Pacific did force the Mustangs into 22 turnovers, but Cal Poly did manage to total up 12 steals.
Pacific shot 42 percent from the floor and made five of 21 from long range. They grabbed a total of 50 rebounds and turned the ball over 21 times.
In the first half the Mustangs used a pair of 12-0 runs to build a 49-31 lead at the half. Cal Poly held its largest lead of 20 points (49-29) when Caroline Reeves Made a layup with 1:24 left in the half. The 49 points was a season-high for first half points for the Mustangs. Cal Poly shot 54 percent in the half and made all of its three-pointers, six, in the period.
Pacific had cut the lead to two (57-55) midway through the second half, but the Mustangs fought back to hold a six point lead, 65-59, on a layup by Schlemer with 5:26 left on the clock. Pacific tied the game at 67-67 with 2:46 left and took the lead, 69-68, with 2:13 left.
Pacific held a three point lead on a pair of free throws by Rodriguez setting up Griffin's dramatic three point play sending the game into overtime.
Pacific opened the first overtime with a three pointer with the Mustangs responding with a field goal. Pacific maintained a one point lead until Schlemer converted a layup off a Griffin assist to give the Mustangs an 83-82 lead. With 1:04 left in the first overtime, Shlemer committed her fifth personal foul and sent Johnson to the line who converted one of two free throws and into the second overtime.
In the second overtime, Pacific again was first to score, but Reeves converted a layup for the game's nine tie. The teams traded field goals until Griffin made a pair of free throws giving the Mustangs a two point lead (89-87), but a layup by Wakefield tied the game up and sent it into the third overtime.
Pacific opened the third and final overtime with a jumper by Wakefield but Reeves had the answer again with a made layup. Pacific again took a two point lead on a pair of free throws only to have Elegado tie it with a field goal. After Pacific again gained a two point lead, Cal Poly's Ashley Cascio made one of two from the line to pull within one (95-94) setting up Ervin's clutch free throws.