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Cal Poly Leads Wire-to-Wire, Tops Utah Valley 77-65 at ShareSLO Classic

Cal Poly Leads Wire-to-Wire, Tops Utah Valley 77-65 at ShareSLO Classic

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Led by 17 points from junior guard Dynn Leaupepe and 14 from senior forward Hannah Gilbert, the Cal Poly women's basketball team never trailed and defeated Utah Valley 77-65 on Saturday afternoon, going 2-0 at the 10th annual ShareSLO Holiday Beach Classic hosted in Mott Athletics Center.

The Mustangs, coming off a 73-46 victory over North Dakota State, jumped out to a 9-2 lead on a Leaupepe steal-and-layup three minutes and 16 seconds after tip-off.

Taylor Gordon cut the lead to 13-10 on a jumper with five minutes left in the first quarter, but Cal Poly proceeded to go on a 10-3 run over the ensuing 2:42 for a 23-13 advantage, ending the period up 25-18.

The closest the Wolverines got from there was 25-24 on a 3-pointer from Britta Hall with 8:46 remaining to halftime, as the Mustangs answered with back-to-back baskets by Gilbert and fellow senior forward Amanda Lovely, followed by a pair of free throws from Gilbert, regaining a 31-24 lead.

Cal Poly also closed the half strong, using a 9-0 run spanning the final 2:13 of the second quarter, capped by sophomore forward Katie Nunnelley scoring three seconds before the horn to take a 44-30 advantage into the break.

The Mustangs (3-3) eventually led by as many as 24, pulling ahead 61-37 on a layup by junior center Nikki Fausey with 2:35 left in the third quarter and later via another jumper by Nunnelley 1:51 before the fourth.

After beginning the fourth quarter down 63-40, UVU (0-6) began a furious rally, battling back to just a 73-65 deficit on another 3 by Hall with 45 seconds to go in regulation. Cal Poly sank all of its four free throws afterward, however, two by Leaupepe at the 41-second mark and two more by Lovely with 28 seconds left.

Gilbert made the All-Tournament Team along with Hall, as did North Dakota State guard Taylor Thunstedt and Central Michigan forward Jewel Cotton.

The Mustangs will continue a four-game homestand by hosting Saint Mary's at 5 p.m. Thursday (also Faculty Appreciation Night) and Pepperdine at 4 p.m. Saturday (Kristina Santiago Day, as Cal Poly will retire the No. 12 jersey of its all-time leading scorer and rebounder).

Photo © 2016-2017 David E. Holmes • (For more, click here.)