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Cal Poly Advances to Big West Tournament Quarterfinals With 72-51 Win

IRVINE, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's basketball team didn't turn the ball over once in the first half Tuesday night, and went on to break the single-game school record for fewest turnovers committed (four) while advancing to the quarterfinals of the Big West Conference Tournament with a 72-51 win over CSUN at Bren Events Center.

With the first-round victory, the sixth-seeded Mustangs — who had a 20-0 advantage in points off turnovers — moved on to face third-seeded Long Beach State on the neutral UC Irvine court at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The winner of the upcoming ESPN3-televised matchup between the Mustangs (15-15) and 49ers (23-7) will clinch a trip to the Honda Center in Anaheim, where the top two seeds, UC Riverside and Hawai'i, await in Friday's semifinals.

An 8-0 Mustang run put Cal Poly ahead 11-5 Tuesday on the way to a 15-10 lead after a first quarter built largely on 11 points from the Leaupepe sisters — seven by Dynn and four by her twin Lynn.

Dynn, the conference's fifth-leading scorer during Big West play, finished with 30 points on 12-for-22 shooting, just one off her career high, while Lynn added 14 on a 7-for-11 evening.

Cal Poly junior forward Hannah Gilbert blocked three shots in the opening period of a game featuring the previous three tournament champions.

Four more consecutive points by the Leaupepes to start the second quarter pushed the lead to 19-10, prompting a timeout by the Matadors (7-24), the bracket's No. 7 seed. The Mustangs, now winners in four of their last six, took their largest lead of the half, 29-15, on a pair of free throws by junior forward Amanda Lovely 3:37 before the break.

Cal Poly led 33-23 at halftime, at which point Dynn had 17 points and Lynn eight. Lovely had six of her nine boards in the initial half, during which the Mustangs went 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.

The Mustang advantage grew to 39-23 on a runner in the lane by senior point guard Lisa Marie Sanchez two minutes into the third quarter. Cal Poly then surged in front 47-30 on a jumper from Lynn at the 5:42 mark and 51-34 with 2:44 remaining on a Gilbert bucket in the key.

After the third quarter, Cal Poly had established a 16-0 upside in points off turnovers en route to a 57-42 lead. The final score was the most sizable margin.

Sanchez also finished with 12 points and six assists, while Gilbert added 10 points and six rebounds.

Long Beach State won the earlier-season meetings between the two programs: 65-53 at home on Jan. 30 and 61-56 in San Luis Obispo on Feb. 24.

The Mustangs, who came into the day as the conference's No. 2 free-throw shooting team (at .731), finished 14-of-16 from the foul line.

Photo © 2016 David E. Holmes
• (For more photos of the team in action, click here.)