SAN LUIS OBISPO – The UCSB women’s basketball team struggled offensively and lost to Cal Poly, 66-47, Saturday at Mott Gym during the first of two Blue-Green Rivalry games between the teams this season.
UCSB falls to 6-11 on the season and to 2-3 in Big West play. The Mustangs improve to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in league games.
After limiting UC Davis to 11 points in the first half just a week ago, UCSB gave up 14 points
in the opening five minutes to the Mustangs. Cal Poly opened the game with a 10-0 run while
the Gauchos saw their first five shots of the game bounce off the rim. Junior Melissa Zornig
finally got UCSB on the board when she hit the first of her two three-pointers of the half.
The Gauchos clawed their way into the game and cut their deficit to four points at 24-20
when Zornig scored on a lay-up with 3:59 to go in the half. Reigning Big West Player of the Week
Molly Schlemer, however, was almost single-handedly responsible for keeping UCSB at bay as
she scored eight of her 10 points in the half – and eight of the Mustangs’ final 10 in the first –
in the last 10:32 of the stanza to give her team a 28-22 advantage heading into the break.
Cal Poly quickly put a stop to any hope of a Gaucho comeback early in the second half as they
opened with a 21-7 run that gave them a 20-point lead with 9:15 to go. The closest UCSB
would get to the Mustangs down the stretch was 15 points after senior Angelei Aguirre hit a
jumper followed by a free-throw with 4:47 remaining.
“If we are going to be the team that we ended up being last year, you have to know that shots
aren’t always going to fall and you need to find a way to make stops,” head coach Carlene
Mitchell said. “They got on a little run there and we didn’t stop the bleeding.”
After shooting 32.1 percent (9-for-28) in the first half, the Gauchos improved in the second (41.7 percent), but their 36.5 percent for the game just couldn’t stack up to Cal Poly’s 48.3 percent field goal percentage.
The Mustangs were led by big performances from Schlemer and Kayla Griffin. The former
finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. Griffin had 21 points to go along with five assists and nine boards.
For the Gauchos, Aguirre led the way with 10 points and four assists. Senior Sweets
Underwood finished with nine points and eight boards. Senior Kirsten Tilleman led the team
with nine rebounds to go with four points and Zornig finished with eight points and four