For the first time since 2011, the Cal Poly women’s basketball team lost to rival UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night, ending a streak of nine consecutive victories in the Blue-Green Rivalry.
The 78-67 win was the Gauchos’ first against the Mustangs inside the Events Center Thunderdome since 2010, and it marked the team’s first three-game winning streak since March 2013. In a game that featured 53 combined turnovers, the Gauchos turned in arguably their best shooting performance of the season, making 55.6 percent of their shots from the field.
Cal Poly dropped to 7-7 overall and 0-1 in the Big West Conference, while UC Santa Barbara improved to 4-11 and 1-0. The Mustangs used a 34-point fourth quarter — including 11 straight points by Lisa Marie Sanchez in 96 seconds — to climb back from a 29-point deficit.
Junior forward Hannah Gilbert delivered her second straight 20-point performance, scoring 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting, and she grabbed six rebounds in 27 minutes. Sanchez added 15 points, and Lynn Leaupepe scored 11 with a team-high eight rebounds.
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Makala Roper overcame 12 turnovers to score 19 points as one of five Gauchos in double figures. Taylor Farris came off the bench to score 14 points, Coco Miller chipped in 12, and Chaya Durr and Jasmine Ware finished the game with 11 apiece.
Cal Poly, which has lost four of its last five games, returns to action at 2 p.m. on Saturday at UC Irvine. The Anteaters (3-12, 0-1 Big West) are coming off their seventh consecutive loss, a 93-69 defeat against UC Riverside on Thursday.
Mckenzie Piper scored 17 points to lead a UC Irvine teams that ranks last in the Big West in field-goal percentage, making 35.2 percent of its shots through 15 games.
Cal Poly’s Stephen Sippel named to academic all-star team
Cal Poly senior offensive lineman Stephen Sippel was one of 52 players selected to the 18th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Associations Academic All-Star Team on Friday.
The fifth-year senior from Folsom earned the distinction for the second year in a row and has been named one of 10 finalists for a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. Sippel started the final 35 games of his career at center, helping the Mustangs lead the nation in rushing offense three consecutive seasons.
“Sippel demonstrated his toughness all of his career,” head coach Tim Walsh said in a news release. “He’s a tremendous football player and I have respect for all of the things he has accomplished, including 35 consecutive starts, three all-Big Sky honors and a 3.8 grade-point average in mechanical engineering.”
There were 96 total nominees this year, including nine from the Big Sky Conference. In order to be eligible for the award, nominees must hold a minimum grade-point average of 3.20 in undergraduate study and be a starter or key contributor in athletics who participated in half of the games played as his position.
Sippel will find out if he’s one of the two scholarship winners during the FCS ADA annual membership meeting held June 13-15 in Dallas.
The other nine finalists are: Christopher Beaschler, Dayton, linebacker, 3.68 GPA; James Cowser, Southern Utah, defensive line, 4.0 GPA; Derek Crittenden, Montana, defensive line, 4.0 GPA; Joe Crochet, The Citadel, defensive line, 3.81 GPA; Nick Faraci, Robert Morris, offensive line, 3.94 GPA; Mark Iannotti, Southern Illinois, quarterback, 3.89 GPA; Jacob Judd, Western Illinois, offensive line, 3.9 GPA; Jacob Rathmacher, Northern Iowa, offensive line, 3.87 GPA; and Jake Withnell, Eastern Washington, tight end, 3.91 GPA.
“It is extremely admirable what our football student-athletes continue to accomplish in the classroom and on the field,” FCS ADA President Jeff Tingey said, “and we are excited to recognize them for their efforts.”