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Late Mustang Rally Falls Short in Championship Game

Late Mustang Rally Falls Short in Championship Game

ANAHEIM, Calif. –  The Cal Poly women's basketball team rallied from a 20 point second half deficit to pull within six points late in the game only to fall, 73-58, to Cal State Northridge in the Big West Conference Tournament Championship game on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

With the loss the Mustangs fall to 18-13 overall and await the WNIT selection show on Monday night for its next opponent. For Cal State Northridge, they earned their second trip to the NCAA Tournament, first with the Big West Conference. The Matadors, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, improve to 18-14 overall.

Junior Ariana Elegado led the charge for the Mustangs in the second half with 21 of her 23 points in the final period. With 4:23 left in the game, Elegado hit her fifth and final three to cut the Matador lead to six points, 62-56. But the Mustangs would only score one more field goal the rest of the final four minutes.

Freshman Hannah Gilbert and senior Molly Schlemer each added six points in the second half. Gilbert, off the bench, finished with eight points while Schlemer finished with nine.

Senior Jonae Ervin was the second Mustang in double figures with 10 points while adding six rebounds. Junior Taryn Garza recorded a team-high 10 rebounds with Schlemer adding nine.

Cal Poly finished the game shooting 34 percent from the floor after hitting just 19 percent from the floor in the first half. The Mustangs were six of 14 from long range and 10 of 16 from the line.

Cal Poly turned the ball over 17 times, resulting in 20 CSUN points. The Matadors committed just five turnovers in the game.

CSUN shot 41 percent from the floor and made 43 percent from long range. The Matadors made nine of 15 shots from the line.

Cal Poly held a 48-41 advantage in rebounds.   

Schlemer and Elegado were namend to the all-tournament team for the second time in two years. CSUN's Ashlee Guay was named the tournament MVP.

The Mustangs struggled in the first half, shooting just 19 percent from the floor. Elegado hit a jumper at 17:33 (6-4), with the next Mustang field goal coming at 12:04 by Hannah Gilbert. CSUN had an 8-2 run during that stretch. The Mustangs next field goal came with 3:02 on the clock, but did go the line 13 times, making eight. After Ervin's jumper at 3:02 the Mustangs made to more quick field goals to cut the Matador lead to 12 at the break after trailing by 20 with 5:20 on the clock. CSUN settled for a 32-20 lead at the break.