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No. 21 Cal Holds Off 3rd-Quarter Cal Poly Comeback Bid to Stay Unbeaten

No. 21 Cal Holds Off 3rd-Quarter Cal Poly Comeback Bid to Stay Unbeaten

BERKELEY, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's basketball team used a 17-3 run to cut Cal's lead to just five points early in the third quarter Sunday afternoon, but the No. 21-ranked Golden Bears recovered on the way to an 82-57 home win in Haas Pavilion to stay unbeaten.

In a fast-paced start, Cal Poly took a 7-6 lead with just a minute and three seconds elapsed on a jumper by junior forward Amanda Lovely.

But the Golden Bears — who already own a win over previously-No. 8 Louisville — asserted themselves with a 10-0 surge for a 16-7 advantage with 3:16 remaining in the opening quarter (which they ended ahead 23-14).

Cal (4-0), two years removed from a Final Four berth, took the first half's largest lead at 35-16 with 3:44 left until halftime. But after going into the break down 38-26, the Mustangs didn't waste any time upon returning to the court.

A 3-pointer and then a drive by senior guard Beth Balbierz, followed by another lay-in off the dribble from sophomore wing Lynn Leaupepe closed the deficit to 38-33 at the 8:24 mark.

The Golden Bears found their form, however, to close the quarter up 64-46, ultimately seeing four players score in double-figures.

Balbierz finished with a team-high 14 points.

Additionally, senior point guard Lisa Marie Sanchez played all 40 minutes, scoring 11 points with six assists and only one turnover, while sophomore Dynn  Leaupepe came off the bench to go a team-best 5-for-8 from the floor en route to 12 points.

Cal Poly made 11 of its 12 free throws on the day.

The Mustangs (2-2) will now prepare for their home opener, which will also commence the ninth annual ShareSLO Holiday Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend.

The full schedule for the tournament — which again features free admission throughout all four games in Mott Athletics Center — is listed below:

Day 1 • Friday, Nov. 27
3 p.m. - Santa Clara at Cal Poly
5 p.m. - Montana State vs. Evansville

Day 2 • Saturday, Nov. 28
3 p.m. - Evansville vs. Santa Clara
5 p.m. - Montana State at Cal Poly
(also followed for a tripleheader, as the Cal Poly men will take the floor at 7:30 p.m. against Antelope Valley University)