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UC Riverside Women's Basketball Tops Cal Poly for 68-59 Home Win

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Cal Poly senior forward Hannah Gilbert moved to No. 8 in school history in career rebounding on Thursday night, but the Mustang women's basketball team lost for the first time in Big West Conference play this season, 68-59 at UC Riverside in SRC Arena.

Cal Poly established a 9-3 lead four minutes in, but the Highlanders steadily rallied to close the opening quarter tied at 17.

UC Riverside (8-7 overall, 2-0 Big West) then regained the lead at 28-26 on a Réjane Vérin jumper with 4:15 remaining to halftime, and went to the break up 37-31.

After beginning the fourth quarter ahead 55-46, the defending regular-season conference champion Highlanders took their largest lead of the evening at 64-48 on a pair of Verin free throws with 5:53 remaining.

The Mustangs (6-9, 2-1) battled back, going on a 9-0 run capped by a layup from junior Lynn Leaupepe to narrow the deficit to 66-59 with 2:06 left. UCR held on from there, however, coming up with key stops down the stretch and getting a jumper from Michelle Curry to complete the scoring with 1:31 to play.

Vérin finished with game highs of 25 points and 11 boards.

The game was broadcast by ESPN3, the Mustangs' seventh game shown on the network since 2015.

Gilbert grabbed seven rebounds on the night, placing her career total at 575. She surpassed Carolyn Crandall (573 from 1979-83) with 2:44 remaining in the first half when she scored on a putback of her own shot to give the Mustangs a 31-30 lead.

Gilbert also scored 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting, while Leaupepe finished with a team-high 19 points along with seven assists and six rebounds.

The Mustangs were coming off a 78-67 win over UC Santa Barbara and a 79-68 victory over CSUN at home.

Cal Poly will continue its road trip at Long Beach State (10-6, 1-0) on Saturday, with tipoff set for 4 p.m. at Walter Pyramid.

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