H-SPORTS

Mar 11, 2013 9:49 PM by Andrew Masuda

Schlemer is all smiles after winning Big West Player of the Year

Molly Schlemer was all smiles on Monday after she was named the Big West Conference's Player of the Year. It marked the fourth-straight year a Mustang had won the award. Fellow Righetti High graduate Kristina Santiago won the award in 2010 and 2012 and Rachel Clancy took home the honor in 2011.

Schlemer said the magnitude of the award was still sinking in a few hours after head coach Faith Mimnaugh informed the team she won. "I was sitting on my stool in front of my locker and coach Faith runs in and we're all like what the heck is she doing. And she runs in jumps on the couch and goes 'Molly got player of the year!' and then jumps off and runs out," Schlemer recalled. " It didn't hit me for a minute or two after and then me and my teammates just started screaming. It was probably one of my all-time favorite basketball moments thus far."

The 6-5 junior has made huge strides this season. She leads the team with 12.7 points per game and ranks second in rebounds with 6.8 for the season. She ranks eighth in the nation with a .556 shooting percentage.

The Santa Maria native has thrived in Big West play averaging 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds and shooting 59 percent in the 18 conference games. She has led Cal Poly in scoring 11 times, ten of which came against conference opponents.

Schlemer also scored the last laugh on Pac 7 League coaches, who did not vote her onto the All-League First Team after her senior season at Righetti. It's a fact that still motivates Schlemer to this day. "I've never even gotten first team anything. So I'm not sure if it's hit me yet. But the skills of my team probably is what helped be a lot because if the shooters wouldn't hit their shots then I wouldn't be open and I wouldn't score like I did," she added. "So ya, I feel like they (Pac 7 coaches) might be kicking themselves in the butt now."

Schlemer and the Mustangs are the #2 seed in the Big West Tournament. They play the highest remaining seed out of the quarterfinals on Friday in the semifinals in the Honda Center in Anaheim. They will play around 2:30 pm or 30 minutes after top seeded Pacific plays the lowest remaining seed in the other semifinal game.

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