The Cal Poly women’s basketball team secured second place in the Big West with a 67-61 win over Hawai’i to close out the season. Senior guard Dynn Leaupepe scored a game-high 30 points in her last regular season with the Mustangs.
The Mustangs (17-11, 11-5) jumped ahead to an early lead, keeping the Rainbow Wahine (12-17, 5-11) scoreless while scoring nine points in three minutes. Leaupepe had 16 points in the quarter, going 6-7 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range and the free throw line. Cal Poly’s largest advantage of the game came with 3:47 left in the first quarter, leading by 16 points. The Mustangs led 21-8 after the first quarter.
Hawai’i came back midway through the second quarter with a 10-0 run to tie the game at 27-27 with 3:33 to play until halftime. Junior center Devin Stanback and senior guard Gabby Grupalo made two free throws each to put the Mustangs back in the lead, but by halftime the score was tied 31-31.
A back-and-forth third quarter kept the game close. Hawai’i’s only senior, guard Sarah Toeaina, strung together a layup and free throw to give the Rainbow Wahine their first lead of the game, 35-36. Toeaina scored a team-high 19 points on her senior night.
Cal Poly led 50-47 going into the fourth quarter, fending off Hawai’i’s comeback attempt. The Rainbow Wahine came within one point of tying, but senior forward Emily Anderson was fouled on the way to completing a layup, sinking the free throw during a 5-0 run for the Mustangs. Anderson had six points in the fourth quarter. When the Rainbow Wahine brought the Mustang lead down to 64-61, Leaupepe converted three free throws to solidify a 67-61 win to end the season.
As the No. 2 seed in the Big West, Cal Poly’s bye advances them to the semifinals of the Big West tournament. They will play at the Honda Center Friday, March 9 in Anaheim, California at 2:30 p.m.