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Cal Poly Rally Falls Short in Portland, 83-76

Cal Poly Rally Falls Short in Portland, 83-76

PORTLAND, OR – The Cal Poly women's basketball team could not pick up its second road win of the season when its second half rally fell short in Portland, 83-76. With the loss the Mustangs fall to 6-5 on the season and snapping a five-game win streak while Portland improves to 6-4.

Cal Poly returns to the court on Friday, December 20 when the team travels to Oregon to take on the Ducks at 7 pm.

Senior Molly Schlemer (photo by Jason Harrel) led the Mustangs with 24 points and 16 rebounds while junior Ariana Elegado had 16 points. Schlemer's points came when she connected on 11 of 23 shots from the floor while Elegado hit six of 12 field goals.

Senior Jonae Ervin scored eight points with sophomore Beth Balbierz, off the bench, scoring nine.

Cal Poly shot 45 percent from the floor and made five of 16 from long range while Portland shot 36 percent from the floor and made just five of 20 from long range. Portland attempted seven more field goals and went to the line 12 more times. Cal Poly converted 11 of 15 from the line while the Pilots made 24 of 27. The Mustangs held a slight edge in rebounds, 44-43, but turned the ball over six more times (16-10).

The game opened with the Mustangs hitting four of their first eight shots and holding an 8-6 lead with 15:42 on the clock. With 11:53 left in the half, Portland had taken a 13-11 lead, but the Mustangs came right back to score the next four points to take a 15-13 lead.

Cal Poly was forced to call a timeout at 9:16 when Portland went on an 11-2 run to hold a 24-17 lead. Portland expanded the lead to 34-22 with 6:53 remaining in the half. Cal Poly made a run late in the half and a long three by Elegado just before the buzzer cut the lead to four with Portland settling for a 44-40 lead at the break.

Cal Poly shot 46 percent for the half and made seven of nine from the line while Portland shot 43 percent from the floor and was five of six from the line. Elegado and Shlemer led the Mustangs with 13 points each and Schlemer recording her sixth double-double of the season at the half with 10 rebounds.

The second half opened with Portland maintaining its lead until midway through the half when they opened up a 58-52 lead. But back-to-back traditional three point plays by Garza and Schlemer tied the game at 60-60 with 6:59 left on the clock.  Portland came back and scored the next five points, but the Mustangs had their own run that included a layup by Schlemer and a three by Elegado to tie the game at 69-69 with 4:4 left in the period, and took the lead, 72-71, on a three by Balbierz with 2:51 left in the game.

The teams traded leads four times over the last two minutes with Balbierz converting a pair of free throws with 1:19 left. Portland came back on the next possession to take the lead and force a Cal Poly timeout with 50 seconds on the clock. Portland connected on its free throws in the final seconds to pull out an 83-76 win.