The Cal Poly women’s basketball team earned their first victory of the season behind standout performances from senior guards Dynn and Lynn Leaupepe against Grand Canyon University Thursday.
The Mustangs’ (1-1, 0-0) first home game of the season was played in front of a ruckus crowd of 1,677 fans, most of whom were children from local elementary schools that made the trip to Mott Athletics Center for Field Trip Day.
“It was a lot of energy, the kids were awesome and I wanted to thank all the schools that made this possible,” Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “I’m sure a lot of teachers are gonna be worn out at the end of the day, but hopefully the kids had a great experience … We appreciate their support.”
Both teams scored at will in the first quarter, with the Mustangs shooting 57 percent and the Lopes (0-3, 0-0) shooting 71 percent from the field. The teams traded leads 13 times in the opening quarter, but the Mustangs trailed by one going into the second quarter, 27-28.
After the Lopes’ hot start shooting the ball, the Mustangs’ defense clamped down, limiting Grand Canyon University to just two buckets on 13 shots from the floor in the second quarter.
“I think [junior guard] Dye Stahley was a big key, she brought the energy on the bench and on the court,” Dynn said. “I think everyone feeding off each other is what brought us to focus in on defense and that’s what created the runs that we had.”
With Cal Poly trailing 36-41 just before halftime, the Mustangs’ inspired defense kickstarted a 14-0 run during which three different Mustangs drained a 3-pointer to take a 50-41 lead into halftime.
Lynn was by far the best player for the Mustangs in the first half, posting 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead the team in almost every major statistical category at halftime.
Lopes’ guard Brie Mobley led the way for Grand Canyon University from the opening tip to the final whistle, scoring 16 points in the first half and finishing the game with 27.
After only scoring three points in the first two quarter, Dynn stole the show from her sister in the second half with a 15-point effort. She did most of her damage from beyond the arc, connecting on four of her six 3-pointers.
Dynn wasn’t the only Mustang to find her stroke from a distance, as five different Cal Poly players hit at least one 3-pointer. The team collectively shot 47 percent from beyond the arc on 9 of 19 shooting.
“I think the other team made adjustments defensively and I think that kind of affected my play,” Lynn said. “But I knew I could count on my teammates to play their role on the team and make contributions to the ‘W’ we got today.”
After leading by double digits for the majority of the second half, the Lopes pulled within six points after a 13 to 4 run in the closing minutes of the game. The Mustangs held on and ran out the clock to escape with the 75-69 victory.
Cal Poly traveled to Saint Mary’s University Sunday where they lost to the Gales 82-64 before returning to San Luis Obispo where they’ll compete in the ShareSLO Holiday Beach Classic next weekend.