Cal Poly Falls at UCSB 77-63; Opens Big West Tournament Tuesday

Cal Poly Falls at UCSB 77-63; Opens Big West Tournament Tuesday

Mustangs to Face Hawai'i in First-Round Matchup at 8:30 p.m. March 7 on ESPN3 in Long Beach

ISLA VISTA, Calif. — Concluding the regular season on the road Saturday evening at UC Santa Barbara, the Cal Poly women's basketball team rallied to pull within six points midway through the fourth quarter at The Thunderdome, but the Gauchos held on down the stretch to earn a Blue-Green Rivalry split for the year, 77-63.

Lynn Leaupepe led the Mustangs with 24 points and 10 rebounds, recording the ninth double-double of her junior season. She tied her career high in 3-pointers, going 4-of-10 from behind the arc, and also claimed a team-best three steals during a 39-minute effort.

Her twin sister, Dynn Leaupepe, had 16 points, while senior forward Hannah Gilbert also added 12.

The Mustangs jumped out to a 4-0 lead a little more than a minute in, before the Gauchos recovered to end the first quarter up 15-12 en route to a 37-28 halftime advantage.

UCSB (14-15, 9-7) began the fourth quarter ahead 62-49, but a 9-0 Cal Poly run — comprised of a Gilbert layup, a Lynn Leaupepe 3, a jumper from senior forward Amanda Lovely and a layup from Leaupepe — narrowed the deficit to 64-58 with 6:08 remaining.

After the lead was cut to two possessions, though, Gaucho senior Onome Jemerigbe hit a 3-pointer, igniting a 7-0 run that brought the margin back to 13, at 71-58 with 4:36 left.

The outcome avenged a 78-67 Mustang win over UCSB in San Luis Obispo on Jan. 5.

Cal Poly (11-17, 7-9) will open the Big West Conference Tournament on Tuesday night against Hawai'i in Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State.

As of Saturday evening, although the Mustangs and Rainbow Wahine were locked into a first-round matchup together, the seeding between the two — Nos. 6 and 7 — depended on the UH (10-17, 6-9) regular-season home finale against Long Beach State tipping off at 10 p.m. Regardless, the game will be played at 8:30 p.m. (or a half-hour after the 5-vs.-8 matchup) on ESPN3.

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Photo © 2017 David E. Holmes • (For more, click here.)