LOS ANGELES -- The UCLA women's basketball team returned home to Pauley Pavilion Saturday afternoon for the first time since November 24 to post a 96-89 victory over Cal Poly. The Bruins improved to 6-6 on the season, while the Mustangs dropped to 6-7.
Nirra Fields, who established her previous career high in the Bruins' last home win, shattered it once again with 36 points. The sophomore also drained a career-best five from beyond the arc. Seniors Atonye Nyingifa and Thea Lemberger each added 23 points. This was the second time this season Fields, Nyingifa and Lemberger each tallied at least 20 points as the trio combined for 82 of UCLA's season-high 96 points.
Cal Poly was led by senior Molly Schlemer, who scored a career-high 29 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. Junior Ariana Elegado contributed 21 points and dished out eight assists for the Mustangs.
The Bruins converted their first six shots of the game and seven of eight and established their largest lead of 12 midway through the first. The Mustangs rallied back with an 18-3 run to take their own largest lead of the game, 34-31. UCLA responded with a 7-0 run and took a 43-40 lead at the break.
Fields scored five quick points to start the second half and a full-court press by the Bruins helped extend the UCLA lead back to 12. The Mustangs once again responded, as Elegado made four of her five three-point attempts in the second frame and trimmed their deficit to three. The Bruins' trio of Fields, Nyingifa and Lemberger proved too strong, however, as UCLA held off the Mustangs.
Cal Poly held a 28-6 advantage in bench points and made 14 of 16 free throws. UCLA totaled a season-high 28 of 40 from the line. Nyingifa made 11 of 18 and posted her fourth double-double of the season and 15th of her career.
The Bruins next play Monday as they host rival USC in their conference opener. The game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. and air on the Pac-12 Networks.
Cal Poly at UCLA