The Cal Poly women’s basketball team (10-11, 3-5 Big West) put up a good fight against the University of Hawaii (13-9, 6-3 BWC), but fell 58-64 after a tough fourth quarter.
The Mustangs struggled to score during the first five minutes of the game. They put away their first basket almost halfway through the first quarter on a jump shot by junior forward Amanda Lovely.
“I go in just wanting to be a support player for my teammates, on offense especially,” Lovely said. “I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself, just letting it come to me.”
With neither team scoring for another three-minute duration, Lovely made a layup to bring the Mustangs to a 9-8 lead with less than a minute to go in the quarter. However, the lead was short-lived before the Rainbow Wahine’s Briana Harris made a three-pointer right before the first quarter ended.
The Mustangs tied the game three times in the early part of the second quarter. After the second tying point, they began to fall behind before Lovely came up with two three-pointers.
Finally, the Mustangs gained another lead with two minutes left in the half, but the Rainbow Wahine tied it up a fourth time.
However, the half ended with a field goal from sophomore guard Dynn Leaupepe, and the Mustangs went into the locker room a 31-29 lead.
The Mustangs lost and gained a lead three times in the third quarter, but ended the quarter with a one-point deficit of 45-46.
Leaupepe brought back the lead for the Mustangs with a jump shot.
The lead switched back for the tenth time in the game, and the Rainbow Wahine stepped up their game with 3-pointers and multiple stolen possessions.
With less than a minute and a half left, the Mustangs trailed by seven, 53-60.
“We did a better job at taking care of the ball,” head coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “We just gave up some inopportune threes, and missing layups that hopefully we’ll make in the future.”
Leaupepe scored back-to-back field goals in the last minute of the game, but the Mustangs could not overcome the Rainbow Wahine in the end.
Leaupepe ended the game as the lead scorer, coming off the court with a career high 31 points on 13-29 field goal shooting.
“I give credit to my teammates for setting me up (with) good screens,” Leaupepe said.
Overall, the Mustangs held a 37.1 field goal percentage and tied Hawaii with a 36.4 three-point field goal percentage.
The Mustangs continue their home stretch against UC Irvine at 4 p.m. on Feb. 6.
“We’re just going to get back to practice and work hard, and improve as much as we can,” Leaupepe said when discussing preparation for the game against Irvine. “We know that we can be a better team.”