H-SPORTS

Mar 18, 2013 9:29 PM by Andrew Masuda

Cal Poly earns 14th seed, faces Penn State in NCAA Tournament debut

The Cal Poly women's basketball received a #14 seed in the Spokane Regional. The Mustangs face 3rd seeded Penn State in Sunday's first round of the Women's Basketball NCAA Division I Tournament. The game is set for 2:15 pm on ESPN2 and will be played in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Cal Poly is 21-10 and tied a program record for most wins in a single season with a 63-49 victory of Pacific Saturday in the Big West Conference Tournament championship game. The Mustangs clinched the program's first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament.

"Penn State is such a storied basketball program. They probably don't realize how big time this is at the moment. But I'm so excited we were honored with a 14 seed. I was totally expecting a 16 seed and so I'm so excited about that," said Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh, who's headed to the Big Dance for the first time in her 16th season.

Penn State is ranked 8th in the nation and the Big 10 regular season champion. The Nittany Lions are 25-5 this season.

"Honestly I'm just happy to be here, I cannot imagine making it to the NCAA Tournament, playing Penn State. I actually have a friend on Penn State that went to my high school. So seeing Cal Poly on that screen it was just amazing, I'm still in shock right now," said sophomore guard Ariana Elegado, who scored a game-high 22 points in the Big West championship game.

"I just feel really blessed that we were able to make it here. I'm so excited for our team and I'm going to yell and be the biggest fan on the sideline. I can't wait," said senior guard Kayla Griffin, who tore her ACL on Saturday.

Stanford is the top seed in the regional and Cal is the number two seed. The winners of Sunday's games will play Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m.

Penn State is led by Maggie Lucas, averaging 20.5 points and 4.6 rebounds. Joining Lucas in the Lady Lion attack are senior guard Alex Bentley who garnered her third-straight All-Big Ten first-team honor as she accounts for 14.0 points, 3.5 assists and 3.6 steals per game. In addition, senior Nikki Greene was a third team all-conference, while Dara Taylor was recently named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team.

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