Mar 20, 2013 6:31 PM by Bill Halter
The Cal Poly women's basketball team will make its first ever trip to the National Tournament on Sunday. The floor leader for the Mustangs is the teams smallest player, Jonae Ervin.
Last season, Ervin led the nation in assist to turnover ratio. She dished out 112 assists and committed just 42 turnovers. This season the junior is third in the nation with 119 assists and 45 turnovers. Ervin played every minute of Cal Poly's two wins at the Big West Tournament as the Mustangs earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. "Just excited to see our name on national television and just to be able to put Cal Poly on the map" said Ervin.
Cal Poly earned a 14 seed and will play third seeded Penn State in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday at 2:15 Pacific time.
It was just over a year ago when Ervin tore her ACL, she tore the ACL in her other knee as a freshman. The major injuries haven't slowed the little spark plug down. "She has the ability to break a press all by herself. Just get out of her way and give her space on the court because she can really tear it up" said head coach Faith Mimnaugh.
Ervin is a similar player to Mimnaugh when she played for Loyola Chicago in the mid 1980's. Mimnaugh dished out 316 assists in her senior season which is the ninth highest single season total in NCAA history. "She has much better scoring ability then I do, did, past tense. I was a little more of a risk taker. I would throw the no looks and I'd have 12 assists, 18 assists but I'd have five turnovers in the process and that's definitely not part of Jonae's game" said Mimnaugh.
Ervin is listed at 5'3" and is usually the shortest player on the court. "For my height I have to use my speed as my advantage just to get around my defender and set my teammates up for open shots. I always look at it, it's not how your appearance, it's what's inside of you" said Ervin.
Cal Poly will be huge underdogs on Sunday but long odds have never stopped Ervin. "We've just got to execute the game plan and go out there and have fun. Just give it all we have and just enjoy the experience" said Ervin.
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