For the first time since 2011, the Cal Poly women’s basketball team (7-7, 0-1) lost to its rival UC Santa Barbara (4-11, 1-0) on Jan. 7, with a final score of 78-67.
The Mustangs started the game with a poor first half, trailing the Gauchos 38-20 at the end of the second quarter.
After missing 17 shots in the first half, Cal Poly lost many opportunities to score and eventually became overpowered by Santa Barbara. The Gauchos took advantage of rebounding opportunities in the first half. Cal Poly also committed 15 turnovers to its rival in the first half alone.
The Mustangs picked up some momentum in the third quarter as they scored nine straight points. However, the team still had a lot of work ahead to overcome the Gauchos’ 60-33 lead.
Finally, the Mustangs’ offense woke up in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Lisa Marie Sanchez erupted for 13 points in the final period, while junior forward Hannah Gilbert added nine points and sophomore guard Lynn Leaupepe chipped in seven.
After three quick 3-pointers by Sanchez, the Gauchos only had a ten-point lead with less than four minutes to go in the game.
However, Santa Barbara didn’t let its guard down for very long. Two 3-pointers, four free-throws and four layups were enough to keep Santa Barbara on top in the fourth quarter.
Cal P0ly scored 34 points in the fourth quarter alone, more than it had in the three previous quarters combined. The Mustangs shot 61.9 percent from the field in the fourth and 31.8 percent in all other quarters.
Gilbert led the team with 22 points, while Sanchez scored 15 points and Leaupepe added 11. UCSB had five players score in double figures, paced by sophomore guard Makala Roper’s 19 points.
The Thursday night win is the Gauchos’ first against the Mustangs at the Thunderdome since 2010.
Cal Poly will continue its conference play on the road against UC Irvine at 2 p.m. on Jan. 9. The Mustangs will not face UC Santa Barbara again until Feb. 27.