ANAHEIM, Calif. --- The Cal Poly women's basketball team will defend its Big West Conference Tournament Championship tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm against Cal State Northridge after defeating Hawai'i on Friday in the semifinal round game, 66-52, at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
The Mustangs needed 21 second half points from senior Molly Schlemer and 13 second half points from junior Ariana Elegado to pull out the win.
The Mustangs will advance to the championship game with an 18-12 overall record. The Mustangs entered the conference tournament as the No. 2 seed with an 11-5 Big West record while CSUN is the No. 1 seed and finished as the regular season champion with a 12-4 record and are 17-14 overall after defeating UC Irvine 78-60. For the Mustangs it will be the team's third trip to the championship game in the last four years.
Schlemer scored a game-high 29 points when she made 12 of 19 shots from the floor and was eight of 13 in the second half. She recorded her 15th double-double of the season with 11 rebounds. Elegado finished with 20 points while Jonae Ervin scored 11 points.
Cal Poly shot 41 percent from the floor for the game after hitting just 27 percent in the first half. The Mustangs caught fire behind Schlemer's play and shot 54 percent in the second half. Cal Poly made just1 of 13 from long range.
UH shot 31 percent from the floor and made 7 of 20 from beyond the arc.
Cal Poly converted 19 of 21at the line while UH made 7 of 20.
UH was led by three players with nine points each; Sydney Haydel, Diane Mooore and Ashleigh Karaitiana.
Both teams opened the game shooting the ball poorly. Cal Poly was 0 of 7 before Ervin converted a field goal for the Mustangs at 13:27. The Mustangs forced Hawai'i into 10 first half fouls by driving to the basket and went to the line nine times and converted eight. The teams were still battling back and forth with Hawai'i holding a lead at 8:47 (11-9). From that point of the game, Schlemer started to heat up as the Mustangs built an 11 point lead, 24-13 (3:01), and settled for a 24-19 lead at the break.
Cal Poly opened up a 10 point lead at 16:39 on an Ervin jump shot and expanded the margin to 14 (49-35), with 6:26 on the clock on a Schlemer layup. UH hit a pair of three's late in the game, but the Mustangs lone three of the game by Elegado came with 3:41 left on the clock to hold a 12 point lead. Cal Poly hit its last 10 free throws to ice the game.