Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Defending Mountain West Champ Colorado State Hangs on to Edge Cal Poly

Defending Mountain West Champ Colorado State Hangs on to Edge Cal Poly

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Late back-to-back 3-pointers by Ariana Elegado brought the Cal Poly women's basketball team within a point of the defending Mountain West Conference regular-season champion on Sunday afternoon in Moby Arena, but Colorado State held on through the closing seconds for a 65-63 win at the end of the Mustangs' week-long road trip.

While the Rams didn't relinquish their second-half lead, Cal Poly never went away. Elegado hit her first clutch bomb with 4:24 left on the clock, cutting the gap to 60-56, before stepping back for another on the next trip up the floor — this time from a few feet behind the line (on the right side) — to make it 60-59 with 3:48 showing.

Neither team scored until three minutes later, when Alana Arias converted an opportunity in the paint, plus a foul from a deep block-or-charge call, to go up 63-59.

Soon afterward, senior guard Kristen Ale drove the length of the floor for a layup to pull Cal Poly within 65-63 with 25 seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbound, freshman wing Lynn Leaupepe came up with a steal, but as the Mustangs tried to create a look on the perimeter following a kick-out in the last few moments, Colorado State (8-3) tapped the ball loose to secure their fourth straight victory.

The Mustangs had taken their largest lead three minutes before halftime, at 28-22, on a Leaupepe layup, before the Rams knocked down four of their last five shots to enter the break ahead 32-30. Cal Poly didn't attempt any free throws during the initial 23 minutes.

Colorado State used a 12-3 run to take a 53-41 advantage, but back-to-back 3s (by Dynn Leaupepe and Elegado) reduced the deficit to two possessions, at 55-49, prompting a Ram timeout at the 9:37 mark.

Elegado finished with 14 points and four assists. The senior guard has made at least four 3s in each of her past three games (going a combined 15-for-27 during that stretch).

Sophomore center Hannah Gilbert had 12 points, while junior guard Beth Balbierz added 10, along with six boards. Ale distributed a career-high eight assists.

After the holidays, the Mustangs will wrap up non-conference play by welcoming WAC frontrunner Bakersfield (8-3) to Mott Athletics Center for a 2 p.m. tipoff on Saturday, Jan. 3.