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Mustangs Rally for Win over UC Irvine in OT on Senior Day

Mustangs Rally for Win over UC Irvine in OT on Senior Day




SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Mustangs used 43 points off the bench to push the team to a, 92-87, overtime win over the Anteaters of UC Irvine on Saturday at Mott Athletics Center in front of 1,683 fans on Senior Day.

With the win the Mustangs remain in second place in the conference standings with a 10-5 record and improved to 16-12 overall. UCI falls to 7-7 in conference games and 14-14 overall.

Sophomore Beth Balbierz scored a career-high 17 points, 15 coming in the second half and six in overtime to lift the Mustangs as she hit five of eight three pointers. Three of her bombs helped to erase a 10 point deficit (64-54) with 11:06 left in regulation. But it took a three by senior Molly Schlemer with 11 seconds left to send the game it into overtime.  It was her second career three pointer.

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 UCI, 10-5.

Ervin and junior Kristen Ale also added 17 points each. Ervin's points came when she made 13 of 14 shots from the line to go with her two field goals. Ale converted four of eight from the field and two of five from long range while she made seven of eight from the line.

Senior Molly Schlemer scored 13 points, all in the second half, after she was limited to just four minutes of play in the first period due to foul trouble. She recorded her 13th double-double of the season when she led the team 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.

Senior Nwamaka Ofodu added 10 points as she hit four of five from the floor and both attempts from long range. She also added nine rebounds in the effort. Ervin added a team-high nine assists.  

In the first half Cal Poly held a five point lead at 14:53, while UCI held a four point lead at 3:09 and held a 45-41 advantage at the break.

The game saw 21 lead changes and 14 ties in the marathon win. Cal Poly shot 39 percent from the floor and made 48 percent from long range (13-27). Cal Poly was clutch at the line, hitting 25 of 29 attempts.

UCI shot 33 percent from the floor and made 10 of 31 from beyond the arc while converting 25 of 34 from the line.

Kelly Meggs and Camille Buckley each scored 22 points to lead UCI while Vanessa Aguilar and Lauren Spinazze added 14 and 12 points respectively.

Cal Poly committed 20 turnovers in the game while UCI only turned the ball over eight times.

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 return to the hardwood on Saturday, March 8, when the team travels to UC Santa Barbara for the team's last regular season game at 2 pm.