Mustang News Staff Report
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With less than five seconds remaining in overtime, senior guard Ariana Elegado drove into the lane with a chance to take down Long Beach State on the road for the second time in as many years. She released a runner in the lane that found net, putting the Cal Poly women’s basketball team up 58-57 — the final score — with just 2.7 seconds left.
Last season, the Mustangs defeated the 49ers in similar fashion in the Walter Pyramid, winning 107-102 in another overtime matchup.
Long Beach State entered Big West play with a 13-1 record, enough to earn them some Top 25 votes, but they have gone 7-4 in conference play, tied with Cal Poly in third place.
The game was back and forth for the entire 40 regulation minutes. The Mustangs were down 37-30 late, but went on a 12-0 run with less than three minutes left to take the lead. The 49ers would respond well, however, evening up the score and sending it to overtime where Elegado’s heroics came to fruition.
Despite the game-winner, Elegado had a sub-par game by her lofty standards, dropping in just five points while dishing out five assists.
Sophomore forward Hannah Gilbert led the side in scoring with 16 points and eight rebounds, while freshman guard Dynn Leaupepe added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
There were positives and negatives to take away for Cal Poly. On the good side, the Mustangs’ defense held the 49ers to 27 percent shooting from the field, one of the lower marks on the year. On the other hand, Cal Poly committed 24 turnovers, a number that is going to have to decline as the Mustangs head into the Big West tournament.
With five games left in regular season play, Cal Poly sits two games behind first place Hawaii and a half-game back of second-place UC Davis.
The Mustangs have a break until Thursday when they’ll return home to face Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 19 and then UC Riverside on Feb. 21. Both games are in Mott Athletics Center.