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Defensive Effort, Gilbert Double-Double Lead Cal Poly to 61-47 Road Win

Defensive Effort, Gilbert Double-Double Lead Cal Poly to 61-47 Road Win

MALIBU, Calif. — Cal Poly junior forward Hannah Gilbert had her fourth double-double in a seven-game stretch, and the Mustang women's basketball team used several clutch performances to pull away from Pepperdine on Wednesday night, 61-47 in Firestone Fieldhouse.

The Waves began the evening up 6-2, but Cal Poly quickly responded, going on a 15-2 run capped by a layup from sophomore wing Dynn Leaupepe for a 17-8 lead with just over three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The Mustangs — now 3-1 on the road, as well as 3-0 when holding opponents under 60 points — took their largest first-half lead at 25-15 on a jumper by Gilbert two minutes into the second period.

Gilbert scored 12 of her 17 points before halftime, going 5-for-7 to lead the way to a 32-27 lead. After coming into the game No. 20 nationally in rebounding (with an 11.2 average), she secured 12 boards Wednesday en route to her seventh career double-double.

Additionally, Cal Poly limited Pepperdine to just 8-for-30 shooting before the break (and 15-for-55 altogether), but the Waves hung around after returning to the court, closing the third quarter down just 40-38.

Leaupepe knocked down a key 3-pointer with 4:58 left in regulation to establish a 49-42 lead, and although the Waves countered with a 3 of their own on the ensuing possession, Mustang senior guard Beth Balbierz hit yet another trey to regain the seven-point margin, 52-45 at the 4:05 mark.

Leaupepe then added a layup, plus the foul, and sank the free throw for a 3-point play to push the score to 55-45 with only 2:43 left on the clock.

Balbierz put matters out of reach for the second game in a row — in similar fashion — drilling another 3 with 1:09 to play that made it 58-45.

Leaupepe finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Cal Poly junior forward Amanda Lovely, a Pepperdine transfer playing her first game back in Malibu, posted eight points and four rebounds in the start.

The Mustangs (4-3) will return home to host Fresno State in Mott Athletics Center at 4 p.m. Saturday. There will also be a Holiday Zone event made available inside the Corral Tent an hour before tipoff, as free admission is available for all in eighth grade and younger, and a holiday-themed carnival games area will be set-up.

Photo by David E. Holmes