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Sacramento State Takes Shootout on Game-Winning 3 vs. Cal Poly, 97-96

Sacramento State Takes Shootout on Game-Winning 3 vs. Cal Poly, 97-96

SACRAMENTO — A game-winning 3-pointer by Emily Easom with 12 seconds remaining gave the Sacramento State women's basketball team a 97-96 victory against Cal Poly on Sunday afternoon, as the Hornets prevailed in a wild finish to a shootout featuring 14 lead changes.

Trailing by six with less than two-and-a-half minutes left in the fourth quarter, Mustang junior guard Lynn Leaupepe converted a layup and then a pair of free throws to cut the Hornet lead to 93-91 before her twin sister Dynn hit a jumper to tie it at 93-all with 1:43 to play.

Tiara Scott made a free throw to regain a one-point lead for Sacramento State, but Dynn Leaupepe then sank another basket in the key with 1:05 on the clock to put Cal Poly up 95-94, and after senior forward Amanda Lovely came up with a steal, Lynn Leaupepe added a free throw with 29 seconds to go, making it 96-94.

Maranne Johnson then found Easom in the left corner for her go-ahead 3. Two ensuing Mustang shots on their final possession rimmed out, followed by an out-of-bounds call with 0.7 seconds left. After a film review upheld possession for Sacramento State, the Hornets inbounded with a baseball pass to halfcourt to run out the clock.

Senior forward Hannah Gilbert scored a career-high 29 points on 14-of-20 shooting and snared 17 rebounds for Cal Poly, while Lynn Leaupepe finished 11-of-13 (plus 9-of-11 from the free-throw line) en route to also recording her career high, 31 points.

Now three boards shy of 500 for her career, Gilbert is 11 rebounds away from joining the top 10 in school history.

Dynn Leaupepe also had 19 points for the Mustangs, and Lovely tied her career-best total with 13 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Dye Stahley also distributed a career-high seven assists.

Cal Poly finished shooting 62.3 percent (38-for-61), as well as 82.6 percent (19-for-23) from the foul line, and had a 64-30 points-in-the-paint advantage. The Mustangs came close to breaking the all-time single-game school record for field-goal percentage, 63.2 (48-of-76) from a 100-58 win over San Diego on Dec. 20, 1980.

The game got off to a fast pace, with a 3 by Easom giving the Hornets a 23-14 upper hand with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Cal Poly battled back, as a three-point play from a layup-plus-the-foul by Lynn Leaupepe on the last play of the period gave the Mustangs a 27-26 lead.

The Mustangs (0-2) kept the momentum going early in the second quarter, taking a 33-28 lead with 8:05 left until halftime on another drive by Lynn Leaupepe, part of a 19-5 run. Sacramento State recovered, going to the break up 47-44.

Sacramento State led by as many as five in the third, going ahead 63-58 on a 3 from Dajhae Mullins with 3:19 to play until the fourth. The Hornets kept relying on their perimeter game, taking a 78-70 advantage on a 3 by Johnson 50 seconds into the final quarter.

It was the Hornets' first win in eight tries against the Mustangs going back to March 1, 1996.

The Mustangs will return to Mott Athletics Center to host Northern Arizona for their home opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. It'll also be Poster Night, with free team schedule posters and cards. Cal Poly will then head back on the road to visit No. 9 UCLA for a 1 p.m. tipoff on Sunday, Nov. 20.