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Cal Poly Comeback Just Short in 66-58 Loss at Texas Tournament

Cal Poly Comeback Just Short in 66-58 Loss at Texas Tournament

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Cal Poly women's basketball team enacted a 14-point comeback Saturday evening against Texas Rio Grande Valley, but the Vaqueros held on late in a game of runs, giving the Mustangs a split at the Hampton Inn & Suites Islanders Classic, prevailing 66-58.

Cal Poly got out to an 8-0 lead inside Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's American Bank Center, thanks in part to a pair of 3-pointers by senior point guard Lisa Marie Sanchez.

Following a 10-2 deficit, though, UTRGV — looking to return to the WAC Tournament Championship — scored nine straight to take the lead with just under four minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Back-to-back baskets by junior forward Amanda Lovely regained the advantage for the Mustangs, 17-14, 28 seconds before the initial horn, but a 3 by first-team all-conference guard Shawnte' Goff opened the second period with a bang for the Vaqueros.

The Mustangs, however, stayed neck-and-neck with UTRGV after halftime, leading once more, 38-37, on a Lovely layup 3:43 before the start of the fourth. The Vaqueros then went on a 16-0 run, though, to go up by 15 eight seconds into the final quarter.

Cal Poly rallied from there, closing the gap to 59-56 on a tip-in by junior forward Hannah Gilbert with 2:31 to play, and then 59-58 on a layup from sophomore wing Lynn Leaupepe on the ensuing possession — capping a 20-6 Mustang surge taking 8:05.

UTRGV converted a drive, though, and then made five free throws down the stretch to hold on in a contest featuring 18 lead changes and seven ties.

Leaupepe finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs, while Sanchez would also finish with a career-best night, adding 17 points and seven rebounds in her second consecutive game without a turnover.

Sanchez played all 40 minutes and also claimed three steals en route to making the all-tournament team. Going back to last season, she's now 18-for-27 from 3-point range (.667).

Gilbert had her second straight monster game on the glass, grabbing a career-high 15 boards (in addition to 13 points) after pulling down 14 in the season opener (a 56-45 victory over the hosts on Friday).

Junior forward Sarah Lipton distributed a team-high four assists off the bench.

Cal Poly (1-1) will now travel to the Bay Area to face San Francisco at 7 p.m. Friday and then Cal at 2 p.m. Sunday.