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Women's Basketball

Cal Poly Women's Hoops Draws Penn State in the Bayou

Files associated with this release:
12-13 WBB Release 20.pdf

Links associated with this release:
2013 NCAA Women's Tournament Bracket

3/18/2013


Cal Poly's first trip to the NCAA Tournament takes the team to Baton Rouge, La., to take on Penn State as the pairings for the women's 64-team tourney were announced Monday. The game will tip at 5:15 ET Sunday on ESPN2.

The Mustangs (21-10) were given a 14 seed after winning the Big West Tournament title. The club downed UC Santa Barbara and top-seeded Pacific to earn the automatic bid for the first time in the 39-year history of the program. Big West Player of the Year and Tournament MVP Molly Schlemer leads a club that has eight players averaging at least 13 minutes per game and is 15-4 since the new year.

The Lady Lions (25-5) were an at-large selection out of the Big Ten after winning the league's regular season title. PSU earned a No. 3 seed for the NCAA Tournament, its 24th berth into the NCAA Tournament and third consecutive bid. Maggie Lucas is the 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year after averaging 20.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game this season, while Alex Bentley garnered her third-straight All-Big Ten first team honor.

The Cal Poly/Penn State winner will take on the winner of the game between 11th-seeded Green Bay and the host of the first/second round site, sixth-seeded LSU.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

• The third time was truly the charm for Cal Poly has the club won its first Big West Tournament title on its third try in the final. The Mustangs had been runners up in 2009 and ‘11 but ‘13 was the breakthrough season. Second-seeded Cal Poly also won the title from a position that hadn’t seen much success in the league tourney. The last time a No. 2 seed won the Big West Tournament was way back in 1996 when Hawai’i took the crown. In fact, in 30 tournaments, two seeds have won the championship five times, only two more times than third-seeded clubs.

• Five teams will continue their 2012-13 seasons in postseason tournaments. The aforementioned Cal Poly will play in the NCAAs, while Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, Hawai’i and regular season champion Pacific will play in the WNIT. The four WNIT bids matches the league record set a year ago.

• Cal Poly is in the midst of a record-breaking campaign. The Mustangs won their first Big West Tournament title, earned their first NCAA Tournament berth, collected a program record-tying 21 wins, are making their third consecutive postseason appearance (2 WNIT, 1 NCAA) and have had the last four Big West Players of the Year. Head coach Faith Mimnaugh also won her 200th game this season, adding to her program record which now stands at 216.

• Long Beach State is making a return to the postseason, a place where the program has had tremendous success. LBSU has seven NCAA Tournament and now two WNIT appearances all-time. The 49ers have an 11-7 record in NCAA play and went 2-1 in their only previous WNIT appearance in 2000. The 49ers are also the only team in the current Big West makeup to have a winning record in the postseason.

• The Big West first team consists of six players from five teams. Pacific’s senior duo of Erica McKenzie and Kendall Rodriguez are the lone pair of teammates on the club, the first time the Tigers have placed two on the first team since Gillian d’Hondt and Seleno Ho were on the 2002 first team. Cal Poly’s Molly Schlemer, UC Davis’ Sydnee Fipps, UC Santa Barbara’s Sweets Underwood and Hawai’i Kamilah Martin rounded out the team.

• Pacific’s first Big West title in program history comes in its swansong in the league, a span of 29 years. The Tigers’ 25 wins are the most for a team since the 2003-04 UC Santa Barbara team won 27 games. 2012-13 also marked the first 20+ win regular season champion since UC Davis in the 2009-10 season.

• Long Beach State’s Devin Hudson had a record-setting performance in the Big West Tournament first round game against Cal State Fullerton. Hudson collected a Big West season-high and Tournament record 24 rebounds. The number is only the second time a player had 20 or more boards in a Tournament game, topping the record by former LBSU player Angelique Lee (20) set on March 8, 1990.

• Cal State Fullerton made quite the unexpected run in the Big West Tournament, reaching the semifinals for the first time since 2009. After entering the Tournament as a No. 8 seed, the Titans knocked off No. 5 Long Beach State and No. 3 Hawai’i before falling on a last second three-pointer against No. 1 Pacific. CSF became the first eight seed to win two games at the Big West Tournament.

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