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Women's Basketball

No. 5 Cal Poly, No. 6 Cal State Fullerton Advance To Quarterfinals Of Big West Tournament

Files associated with this release:
Cal Poly-UC Irvine Box Score
Cal Poly-UC Irvine Quotes
Cal State Fullerton-Long Beach State Box Score
Cal State Fullerton-Long Beach State Quotes

Links associated with this release:
Post game interviews


Fifth-Seeded Cal Poly Knocks Off No. 8 UC Irvine, 76-61, In First Round Of Big West Tournament

Freshman Kristina Santiago scored a game-high 22 points and hauled in 11 rebounds to lead No. 5 Cal Poly to a 76-61 victory over No. 8 UC Irvine in the opening round of the Big West Conference Tournament Wednesday afternoon at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Mustangs (12-18) won for the third time in their last four games and will advance to face No. 4 seed Pacific Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the the first quarterfinal match-up of the day.

UC Irvine's season comes to a close at 7-24 overall.

Santiago finished 6-of-7 from the floor and 9-of-12 at the free-throw line to lead three Mustangs in double figures. Lisa McBride scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Megan Harrison scored 11 and finished with two blocks.

Cal Poly raced out to a 13-4 lead after the first five minutes following a three-pointer from Nicole Yarwasky and Rebecca Tratter's three-point play with 7:16 remaining gave the Mustangs a commanding 29-9 advantage. Irvine scored the next eight points to pull within 12, but Santiago knocked down two free throws and Harrison drained a triple to push the lead back to 17 at 34-17.

Cal Poly held UCI to just 24% shooting in the first half and took a 37-19 lead into the locker room at the break. Nineteen points was Irvine’s lowest output in a half this season.

The Mustangs' Sparkle Anderson opened the second half with a jumper and Harrison scored inside, was fouled, and converted the free-throw to give Cal Poly its biggest lead of the game, 42-19 with 17:14 left. Irvine would get no closer than 15 the rest of the way.

Senior guard Rebecca Maessen was 5-of-9 from the field and scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half to lead the Anteaters.

No. 6 Cal State Fullerton Out-Guns No. 7 Long Beach State, 69-51

Jasmine Scott scored a career-high 22 points and Toni Thomas added 18 as sixth-seeded Cal State Fullerton recorded a 69-51 victory over No. 7 Long Beach in Big West Tournament First Round action Wednesday afternoon at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Fullerton improves to 11-18 overall in 2007-08 and advances to face defending tournament champion and third-seeded UC Riverside in the quartefinals Thursday at 12:00 p.m. The Titans and Highlanders split the regular season series, with the road team winning both contests.

Long Beach State, which had won four of its last five entering Wednesday’s game, wraps up its season at 9-20 overall.

Scott was impressive from the field, finishing 10-of-15 to lead three players in double figures for the Titans. The sophomore reached the 20-point mark for the first time in her career and shattered her previous high of 14 points that came in a home win over San Jose State Nov. 17. She also finished with four assists and four steals.

Thomas, an All-Big West First Team selection, was 7-of-12 from the floor and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for her fourth consecutive double-double.

2007-08 Big West Freshman of the Year Lauren Chow chipped in with 14 points for Fullerton, finishing 4-of-10 from the floor.

After the 49ers’ Ally Wade hit a three-pointer to give Long Beach State a 15-13 lead, Chow answered with a long triple of her own and Thomas scored in the paint to ignite a 7-0 Titan run over the next three and a half minutes. LBSU cut the deficit to one at 20-19 following a free-throw from Courtney Jacob, but Fullerton scored 14 of the next 18 points to take a 34-23 lead with 3:03 remaining in the first half.

Back-to-back jumpers from Karina Figueroa and Brett Timmons brought the 49ers to within seven, before Scott’s layup gave the Titans a 38-29 advantage at the break.

Long Beach State cut the deficit to five (42-37) 4:26 into the second half after a layup by Kaiti O’Brien, but Scott answered with back-to-back jumpers to push lead back to 11 with 13:53 remaining. She hit another shot from the wing six minutes later to give the Titans a 55-42 advantage and the lead swelled to 18 at 65-47 with 3:40 left to play.

Timmons scored 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbed six rebounds to lead the 49ers, while Figueroa finished with 10 points and three assists.

The 18-point margin was Fullerton’s largest this season.