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Cal Poly Moves Into Second Place in Big West with 63-56 Win Over CSF

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Led by a combined 45 points from its class of seven graduating Mustangs, the Cal Poly women's basketball team moved into second place in the Big West Conference standings on Saturday with a 63-56 Senior Day win over Cal State Fullerton at Mott Athletics Center.

After establishing a new career high in rebounding (14) Wednesday night, senior forward Lynn Leaupepe matched it with another 14-board effort in the home finale, also scoring a game-high 18 points.

The victory gave Cal Poly (16-11, 10-5) a half-game lead for second above UC Irvine (17-11, 9-5), which lost 66-56 at first-place UC Davis (23-4, 13-1). The Mustangs close the regular season at Hawai'i at 9 p.m. PST Saturday, March 3.

The top two seeds earn byes to the upcoming conference tournament, straight to the Honda Center in Anaheim for the semifinals on March 9. Seeds 5-8 start the first round on March 6 at Fullerton's Titan Gym, before seeds 3 and 4 join the quarterfinals on March 7 (also at CSF).

Cal Poly got out to a quick start, leading 6-0 just over three minutes in, en route to a 13-9 lead after the opening quarter. The Titans rallied with an 8-0 run to move in front 19-17 with 6:02 to play before the break, but the Mustangs answered with a 6-0 run of their own on the way to a 27-22 halftime lead.

A 3-pointer by senior forward Mary Kate Evans gave Cal Poly its largest lead of the day, 37-26, with 5:28 remaining in the third quarter. CSF wouldn't go away, however, using a 16-6 surge to close the period down only 43-42.

Then on their second possession of the fourth quarter, Hannah Thompson knocked down a 3 to give the Titans (8-19, 3-11) the lead for the first time in almost 17 minutes, 45-43. The fourth quarter alone featured four ties and six lead changes — the last of which occurred with under two-and-a-half minutes to play.

A pair of free throws by Carolyn Gill gave CSF a 56-55 lead at the 2:38 mark, but Leaupepe responded with a layup on the ensuing trip up the floor, putting Cal Poly back ahead 57-56. The Mustangs didn't allow another point the rest of the way, finishing on an 8-0 run.

Lynn Leaupepe shot 6-for-11 from the floor, while her twin sister Dynn also added 10 points.

Mustang junior center Devin Stanback had eight points and seven rebounds while helping Cal Poly hold a 26-18 scoring advantage in the paint, and Evans also had eight points. Fellow senior Emily Anderson had a team-high three steals as the Mustangs utilized a 15-2 advantage in points-off-turnovers for the afternoon.

Cal Poly's regular-season finale in Honolulu will be televised on Spectrum Sports HI (7 p.m. local time on O'ahu) from the Stan Sheriff Center.