The Cal Poly women’s basketball team couldn’t complete a second-half rally against UC Riverside on Saturday night, falling 82-78 at Riverside.
Ariana Elegado scored 18 of her game-high 23 points in the second half for the Mustangs (9-9, 4-2 Big West Conference) who cut a 10-point halftime deficit to three with six seconds remaining after a 3-pointer by Beth Balbierz.
The Highlanders’ Brittany Crain split her free throws with three seconds left to clinch the victory for UC Riverside (12-8, 3-3).
Kristen Ale and Balbierz had 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Elegado had a game-high eight assists for the Mustangs.
Cuesta 53, Moorpark 52
In a down-to-the-wire game against visiting Moorpark, Cuesta won after a pair of missed free throws by the Raiders at the end of regulation.
“We were up 53-52 with 1.3 seconds to go and their best offensive player went to the free-throw line,” Cuesta head coach Ron Barba said. “After she missed the first one, I called a timeout, then she missed the second one and Felicia (Cabral) grabbed the rebound. I couldn’t believe it.”
Morro Bay High grad Jerrica Crosby had a game-high 10 rebounds in addition to 14 points, while Anika Rovig scored 14 as well for Cuesta.
A strong defensive effort made up for the Cougars’ 28 turnovers, Barba said, as they forced the visiting Raiders into a season-high 23 turnovers.
The Cougars (19-5, 5-1 Western State Conference North Division) will host Ventura next Saturday for a chance to take the division lead.
Cuesta 64, Moorpark 61
Rafael Casanova had a game-high 17 points for the Cougars, who overcame a 10-point halftime deficit at home.
Cuesta (15-7, 5-1 WSC-North) scored 32 points in each half, while Moorpark (12-10, 2-3 WSC) shot 2 of 13 on 3-pointers and 8 of 30 from the field for 19 points in the second half.
Keshawn Liggins and Evgeniy Moiseev added 12 points apiece for Cuesta, and Moiseev and Tayler Thompson had 11 rebounds apiece.