SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.—The Cal Poly women's basketball team picked up a crucial Big West Conference win over Cal State Fullerton (66-48) on Saturday in Mott Gym in front of 708 fans.
With the win the Mustangs improve to 7-3 in Big West games and 11-12 overall while Cal State Fullerton falls to 9-15 overall and 2-10 in conference. The Mustangs win coupled with conference leading Cal State Northridge's loss in double overtime to Long Beach State leaves Cal Poly a half game out of first place.
Senior Kristina Santiago's 12 double-double of the season led the team with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The forward made seven of 16 shots from the floor and three of four at the line.
Sophomore Jonae Ervin was the second Mustang in double figures with 10 points, but improved on her NCAA leading assist to turnover ratio with eight assists with only two turnovers. Ervin entered No. 1 in the nation with a ratio of 3.32.
Cal State Fullerton was led by two players off the bench. Lauren Bushong scored a team-high 12 points with Alex Thomas adding 11 points.
Cal Poly shot 45 percent from the floor, 57 percent in the second half. The Mustangs attempted only seven 3-pointers and made three.
The Titans shot 33 percent from the floor, but made only one of 10 from long range.
Cal Poly grabbed 40 rebounds and turned the ball over 14 times while CSF had 36 rebounds and 15 turnovers.
The Mustangs used an 11-0 run to make up a five point deficit and take a 17-11 lead on a pair of free throws by senior Christine Martin with 7:19 on the clock.
Cal Poly held its largest lead of the half, nine points, with two minutes on the clock and again when Caroline Reeves made a layup with 20 seconds remaining in the half and went into the break with a 29-20 lead.
In the second half the Mustangs quickly built a 20 point lead when Santiago converted a traditional three point play at 11:38 and a 52-32 lead.
The Mustangs held their largest lead of the game, 22 points, at 10:38 when Griffin made a layup off an assist from Santiago. Cal Poly also held a 22 point lead at 9:46.
CSF cut the lead to 12 at 2:17 with the Mustangs pulling away down the stretch and setteling for an 18 point win.