The Leaupepe sisters, Dynn and Lynn, share a lot more than just a last name. The identical twins have the same powerful 5-foot-9 frame, the same long, black braided pony tail that moves like a whip with every dribble down the court and a bond that only twins could know.
The seniors from Camarillo have also shared countless memories playing together since they were in fourth grade; the latest came Thursday night in the final seconds of Cal Poly’s game against Hawai’i.
It was Dynn Leaupepe’s night. Cal Poly’s leading scorer had dominated Hawai’i for 26 points, but with 40 seconds left on the clock and the Mustangs trailing by two points, head coach Faith Mimnaugh drew up a play for her sister.
The call surprised Lynn Leaupepe, who still feels the effects of a high ankle sprain that caused her to miss a stretch of games in the middle of the season. But the call was the right one. She caught a tipped pass from her sister, fought through three defenders and hit a left-handed layup, plus the foul.
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“I was actually really surprised it went in,” Lynn Leaupepe said.
As she screamed in celebration following the game-winning play, the underlying message was clear: I’m back. Her subsequent free throw gave Cal Poly the lead for good and a 52-50 win. It was Cal Poly’s first win over Hawai’i since 2015.
“Seeing her take the process to coming back is something that I am really proud of because I know it was hard for her. To see her be successful on that play was super emotional for me,” Dynn Leaupepe said after the game. “She is my sister, so I hate seeing her down. Seeing her success there was really a proud sister moment.”
Lynn Leaupepe was on the court Wednesday night for more than 20 minutes for the first time since November and had 10 rebounds to go with her 9 points and five steals. For Dynn Leaupepe, it was her eighth 20-point game in the past nine games. The sisters have combined to average more than 31 points per game this season, with Dynn Leaupepe leading the team with 20 points per game — good enough for 33rd in the nation — while Lynn Leaupepe is averaging 11 points per game.
And with the pair showing improved defense this season along with being able to score at will, no deficit seems insurmountable.
Each of Cal Poly’s six Big West wins this season have all been in come-from-behind fashion. Cal Poly (12-8, 6-2 Big West) is tied for second place in the conference with UC Irvine (14-8, 6-2 Big West) behind first-place UC Davis (18-3, 8-0 Big West).
Cal Poly will begin the second half of its Big West schedule Saturday at home against UC Riverside. The last time Cal Poly played Riverside, Dynn Leaupepe had a career-high 40 points and 10 rebounds in an overtime win. Lynn Leaupepe came off the bench and only played four minutes in that game. She’s back now where she belongs, in the starting lineup with her sister.
And both are ready to chase the next memory — a Big West title.