RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- A dominating first half carried the Mustangs to a 94-59 win over the UC Riverside Highlanders in a Big West Conference basketball game on Thursday in Riverside.
With the win the Mustangs improve to 17-9 overall and 11-4 in Big West games while UCR falls to 11-15 overall and 4-11 in conference games. It was Cal Poly's fourth-straight Big West Conference win and its seventh in the last eight games.
Cal Poly returns to the court on Saturday, March 2, when the team travels to Cal State Fullerton for a conference game at 3 pm.
Junior Molly Schlemer led the team with 16 points. It was her 13th time in the last 14 games scoring in double figures. Nikol Allison added 14 points with 11 rebounds, all off the bench. Sophomore Ariana Elegado and senior Kayla Griffin each had 12 points in the win.
Schlemer made eight of 15 shots from the floor while Allison made six of 10 field goals. Elegado made five of nine from the floor and two of three from long range while Griffin was five of seven from the floor and made two of three from long range.
UCR was led by Jamila Williams with 21 points with Brittany Crain adding 18 points.
Cal Poly shot 50 percent or better for the third time this season when they made 37 of 69 shots from the floor, good for 54 percent. UCR made 38 percent from the floor with the Mustangs making nine of 16 from long range (56 percent). URC made just two of 10 from beyond the arc. Cal Poly turned the ball over just 12 times and dished out 18 assists while UCR had 18 turnovers and 13 assists. Cal Poly outrebounded the Highlanders, 45-27.
The Mustangs moved out to a 5-0 lead in the first half on a three-pointer by Griffin at 19:01 and never looked back as the team shot 56 percent from the floor in the half and made seven of nine from long range. Cal Poly turned the ball over just four times in the half, compared to UCR's 11. Cal Poly held a 50-13 lead at the break.
UCR made a move in the second half tried to cut into the Mustang lead when Brittany Crain hit a jumper with 15:30 left in the game that kept the Highlanders at 60-30, but Cal Poly maintained its lead, 71-40, on a layup by Beth Balbierz with 9:41 on the clock.
Ervin hit a jumper with 7:16 on the clock to give the Mustangs a 75-44 lead as the Mustangs' cruised to a 94-59 win.