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UC Davis Stays in First Place in Big West with 85-77 Win Over Cal Poly

UC Davis Stays in First Place in Big West with 85-77 Win Over Cal Poly

DAVIS, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's basketball team cut a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to seven in a battle between the top two teams in the Big West standings Wednesday night, but UC Davis held on late at The Pavilion, staying in first place in the conference with an 85-77 victory that snapped the Mustangs' four-game winning streak.

Mustang senior guard Dynn Leaupepe, the reigning Big West Player of the Week (who entered the game 25th in the nation in scoring, averaging 20.5 points), scored 34 points, giving her a career total of exactly 1,500.

The loss moved idling UC Irvine (15-8, 7-2) alone into second place, with the Mustangs (13-9, 7-3) now a half-game back.

Cal Poly took an 18-13 lead on a 3-pointer by senior forward Emily Anderson with 2:07 left in the opening quarter, but UC Davis closed within 20-18 by the end of the period.

The Aggies (19-4, 9-1) — defending regular-season champions — regained the lead 3:41 into the second quarter, as Sophia Song knocked down a 3 to make it 30-29. The two squads stayed close approaching halftime, as the next 5:09 featured a combined three ties and four lead changes.

Marly Anderson broke a tie with a layup 53 seconds before the break, before Song sank another 3 with 31 seconds remaining, en route to a 46-41 UCD halftime lead.

UC Davis, ranked No. 10 in the latest College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll, kept its momentum going after returning to the court. After opening the fourth quarter up 65-53, the Aggies surged ahead by the largest margin of the game, 79-62, on back-to-back free throws via Kourtney Eaton with 2:59 to play.

Soon afterward, however, with only 1:10 remaining, the Mustangs started a 9-0 run.

Following a pair of free throws from freshman guard Ayzhiana Basallo, Dynn Leaupepe hit a 3, her twin sister Lynn Leaupepe converted a layup, and senior point guard Dye Stahley made two more foul shots, cutting the gap to 84-77 with just 23 seconds left, prompting an Aggies timeout.

After a UC Davis free throw, however, the Mustangs missed back-to-back looks at 3-pointers, rebounded by Anderson with nine seconds to go, effectually ending the game.

Leaupepe shot 13-for-27 from the floor (including 6-of-14 from 3-point range), and Basallo added 12 points, while Stahley distributed four assists to go with nine points.

Lynn Leaupepe corralled a game-high 13 rebounds to go with nine points, moving up to No. 8 in school history for career boards (608).

Cal Poly will return home to host Long Beach State at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Feb. 10 vs. the 49ers is also Play4Kay Day at Mott Athletics Center, as fans are encouraged to wear pink to support cancer awareness, and for every ticket purchased, $2 will go directly to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund to support cancer research.

There will also be pink shirts for sale at Saturday's game, with proceeds going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Fans can also make a donation at the game, or pledge a donation for every free throw Cal Poly makes in February as part of the Play4Kay Free Throw Challenge. To make a pledge, visit PledgeIt.org/CalPoly-Play4Kay.

Photo © 2018 David E. Holmes