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Cal Poly Moves to 6-2 in Big West Conference with 52-50 Win vs. Hawai'i

Cal Poly Moves to 6-2 in Big West Conference with 52-50 Win vs. Hawai'i

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's basketball team stayed in second place in the Big West standings on Thursday night at Mott Athletics Center, picking up a 52-50 comeback win over Hawai'i to improve to 6-2 in conference play.

Mustang senior guard Dynn Leaupepe — who came into the game second in the conference and 40th in the nation in scoring (19.6 per game) — netted a game-high 26 points, her eighth 20-point performance over the past nine games.

Behind first-place UC Davis (18-3, 8-0), UC Irvine (14-8) also resides at 6-2 for a share of second, although the Mustangs (12-8) hold an early tiebreaker due to their 79-76 head-to-head win vs. the Anteaters on Jan. 18.

Neither team led by more than seven all Thursday evening, which featured six ties and eight lead changes.

Hawai'i closed the first quarter with a 12-11 lead on a final-possession 3-pointer from Julissa Tago, before Cal Poly brought a 22-20 lead into the break.

Junior center Devin Stanback gave the Mustangs their largest lead of the game — 26-20 — 1:09 after returning to the floor, but the Rainbow Wahine rallied, finishing the third quarter up 37-35.

A 3 by Lahni Salanoa provided UH its largest lead, 44-37 with 7:17 remaining. The Mustangs, however — who've recorded all of their Big West victories in comeback fashion — responded with a 9-0 run over the ensuing 3:53, surging in front 46-44 on a Leaupepe jumper with 3:24 to play.

Makenna Woodfolk regained the lead for the Wahine (9-13, 2-7) at the 1:04 mark, draining a jumper to make it 50-48, but senior forward Lynn Leaupepe converted a basket-plus-the-foul with 38 seconds left, and proceeded to make the free throw, putting the Mustangs ahead for good, 51-50.

Following a UH timeout, Cal Poly forced back-to-back turnovers, ultimately causing the Wahine to foul late, at which point senior guard Kelly Wong made a free throw with only four seconds to go for the final score (as a potentially game-winning 3-point attempt by Tia Kanoa missed just before time expired).

Dynn Leaupepe is now 19 points back of No. 4 in school history for career scoring (with 1,435). Lynn Leaupepe had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with her nine points, her 17th career 10-board game.

Cal Poly junior point guard Dye Stahley distributed a game-high six assists.

The Mustangs blocked a season-high five shots, including two rejections for true freshman forward Kirsty Brown. Cal Poly, which had a 14-7 advantage in steals, had a 24-3 margin in points-off-turnovers while improving to 7-2 at home on the year.

Cal Poly will continue the homestand by hosting UC Riverside at 2 p.m. Saturday.