Cal Poly Edges Gauchos 73-72 With Late Basket

Drew Edelman (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Drew Edelman (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Cal Poly scored the go-ahead basket with 23 seconds left in the game, and the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team missed a good look at a go-ahead shot of their own down the stretch in a 73-72 loss to the Mustangs at Mott Gym on Wednesday night.

Entering the game tied for third in the Big West standings, Cal Poly now takes sole possession of third with the win and improves to 15-11 overall and 9-5 in conference. UCSB, meanwhile, drops to fourth place and is now 11-15 overall and 8-6 in the Big West.

Trailing by five, 70-65, with 1:40 remaining, the Gauchos got baskets from Drew Edelman and Sarah Bates in the paint to make it a 71-69 game after Cal Poly got a free-throw on the other end.

After a Bates free-throw made it a 71-70 game with one minute left, Bates came up with a clutch steal to give possession back to UCSB. The Gauchos called a timeout and executed to perfection as Drea Toler drove the lane for the go-ahead basket with 29 seconds left, giving UCSB a 72-71 lead.

Cal Poly, however, answered back after a timeout of their own as Lynn Leaupepe took a handoff at the elbow and drove the lane for the eventual game-winner.

With 23 seconds still remaining, UCSB had a great look on the next possession as Toler drove the lane again, but her shot hit off the back of the rim and bounced out.

The Gauchos fouled and Cal Poly missed both free-throws, giving UCSB life with six seconds left, but Toler was swarmed as she raced down the court and could not get a shot off.

The Gauchos led by as many as 13 points midway through the second quarter, but the Mustangs battled back and the two teams went back-and-forth down the stretch in a game that featured 12 lead changes.

Edelman continued her strong play with 24 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double in six games and second in-a-row. Bates finished with 17 points while Makala Roper had another strong all-around game with nine points, six rebounds and four assists. Sarah Porter led the team with five dimes.

Cal Poly was led by 28 points from the league's leading scorer Dynn Leaupepe while L. Leaupepe finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

The Gauchos are back in action this Saturday, Feb. 24 when they welcome UC Riverside to the Thunderdome for senior night.