UC Santa Barbara secured the lead for good with 3:24 to go en route to an 80-71 victory over Cal Poly in a Big West Conference women’s basketball game Saturday afternoon before 967 in Mott Gym.
Cal Poly, which beat the Gauchos 82-71 in the Thunderdome on Jan. 21, jumped to a 12-4 lead in the opening five minutes, held a 36-31 advantage at halftime and led by seven points, 59-52, with 8:13 to play on a lay-up by senior center Sarah Grieve.
But the Gauchos went on a 20-6 run over the next six-and-a-half minutes to build a 72-65 lead with 1:49 to go. LaShay Fears scored a lay-up to cap the rally.
Fears led UC Santa Barbara with 20 points and Jenna Green added 19 points. Also scoring in double figures for the Gauchos was Jessica Wilson with 15 and Ana Onaindia with 12 off the bench. Wilson also led the Gauchos in rebounds with 13.
Cal Poly had just two double-digit scorers – Grieve with 17 and senior guard Michelle Henke with 13. Junior forward Jessica Eggleston came close to recording a double-double, notching nine points and eight rebounds.
The win gives the Gauchos sole possession of second place in the Big West at 6-2 while the Mustangs fell to third place at 5-3.
The Gauchos turned the ball over 24 times, one more than the Mustangs, but made 47.2 percent of their floor shots compared to 38.0 percent for Cal Poly. The Gauchos out-rebounded Cal Poly 42-41, led by Wilson with 13 and Green with 12.
The Mustangs took 18 more shots than the Gauchos, but couldn’t capitalize on their extra opportunities. Cal Poly also struggled from the three-point line, sinking just two-of-13 from beyond the arc while the Gauchos connected on six-of-14 of its 3-point attempts.
Cal Poly visits UC Davis for a non-conference game Thursday at 7 p.m. and returns home to host UC Riverside on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Mott Gym.