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Cal Poly Edged on Road by CSU Bakersfield, 57-52

Cal Poly Edged on Road by CSU Bakersfield, 57-52

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's basketball team continued its three-game road trip by scoring the first 11 points Saturday at CSU Bakersfield, but the Roadrunners came back for a 57-52 win in the Icardo Center.

The Mustangs — coming off an 87-83 overtime loss at Saint Mary's late Thursday night — began the afternoon by making five of their initial six shots on the way to the 11-0 start less than four minutes in.

But CSUB steadily rallied, ending the opening quarter down just 13-11. The Roadrunners took the lead at 18-15 on a 3-pointer from Addi Walters 7:34 before the break, en route to a 28-24 halftime lead.

Cal Poly (6-5) wouldn't go away, however, trailing by no more than eight and keeping it to a four-point deficit after three, at 41-37 thanks to a quarter-ending lay-in by junior forward Hannah Gilbert.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Mustangs closed within a basket on two occasions: on a free throw from senior guard Beth Balbierz to make it 41-39 with 7:05 remaining and then on a layup by sophomore guard Dynn Leaupepe the next time up the floor.

From there, Cal Poly pulled within three points at five ensuing junctures, but couldn't get closer — in large part thanks to Roadrunner point guard Alyssa Shannon, who made all six of her free-throw opportunities in the last 15 seconds of the game to ice it.

The Mustangs held a 44-36 rebounding advantage.

Balbierz finished with 13 points to go with her career-high seven steals, while Gilbert added 12 points along with seven boards.

Balbierz's seven steals, the highest single-game total throughout the Big West Conference this year, are the most claimed by a Mustang since Toni Newman grabbed eight at Long Beach State on Feb. 8, 2007.

Saturday's outcome was the first time in the last five meetings between the two programs that the Roadrunners prevailed.

Of Cal Poly's five losses on the season, all but one have come by an average of only 5.8 points.

Cal Poly will wrap up its travels away from San Luis Obispo by visiting No. 7 Oregon State (8-0) for a 3 p.m. tipoff Monday in Gill Coliseum.