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Cal Poly Moves to 8-3 in Big West with 70-61 Win Over Long Beach State

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Seven Mustangs scored between six and 17 points Saturday at Mott Athletics Center, leading the Cal Poly women's basketball team to 8-3 in Big West Conference play with a 70-61 win over Long Beach State.

Cal Poly stayed in third place in the standings, a half-game back of UC Irvine (16-8, 8-2). The two squads match up next week at the Bren Events Center, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15.

The top two seeds to the upcoming conference tournament earn byes straight to the Honda Center for semifinals on March 9, after seeds 3-8 open with the first round and quarterfinals at Titan Gym in Fullerton March 6-7.

The 49ers, coming off a 59-51 victory over CSUN on Thursday, started hot Saturday, ending the first quarter with their largest lead of the afternoon, 20-11.

Cal Poly responded in the second quarter, limiting LBSU to seven points — the Mustangs' stingiest defensive effort in any quarter all year (surpassing the eight-point quarters allowed in the second on Feb. 1 and third on Nov. 28) — en route to gaining a 28-27 halftime lead on a pair of free throws by junior point guard Dye Stahley five seconds before the break.

A back-and-forth third quarter featured seven lead changes, including LBSU (3-21, 1-9) pulling ahead 44-40 on a Ma'Qhi Berry free throw 1:36 before the start of the fourth. Cal Poly (14-9 overall) answered with seven straight points to close the period, however, and then added a layup from senior guard Kelly Wong early in the fourth to cap a 9-0 run providing a 49-44 lead with 8:58 left.

The Mustangs never relinquished the lead from there, going up 58-50 on a layup by sophomore Breezi Holt with 5:34 remaining. LBSU rallied within 62-59 with 2:16 to play, but senior twins Lynn Leaupepe and Dynn Leaupepe netted a jumper and steal-and-coast-to-coast layup in the moments that followed, providing a 66-59 lead with 43 seconds left.

Dynn Leaupepe, who came into the game 17th nationally in scoring (averaging 21.1 points), posted a team-high 17, while her sister Lynn and senior forward Mary Kate Evans added nine apiece; Stahley and freshman guard Ayzhiana Basallo contributed eight each; Wong finished with seven; and Holt a season-high six.

Stahley also had team highs of six assists and three steals.

Both Leaupepe sisters moved up the leaderboard for career scoring in school history, with Dynn (1,517) going from No. 4 to No. 3 and Lynn (981) from No. 18 to No. 16.

Following Thursday's matchup at UCI, Cal Poly will travel to CSUN for a 4 p.m. tipoff Saturday, Feb. 17 at The Matadome.

Photo © Alexander Bohlen