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Kevin RooseCal Poly beats UCSB 74-63

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Four Mustangs scored in double figures to help Cal Poly women’s basketball come away with a huge win at home Thursday over Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara, 74-63.

Junior guard Sidney Richards led the way for the Mustangs (15-11, 11-6 BW) with a career-high 17 points on a perfect 4-4 from three in addition to five assists. Senior forward Natalia Ackerman kept up what she’s been doing all season long, notching her third straight and 10th overall double-double of the season after tallying 14 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks to stay at the top of the Big West in that category.

Junior guard Sydney Bourland also added 14 points in addition to nine rebounds and three steals. Graduate guard Ania McNicholas was the other in double figures, chipping in 13 points for Cal Poly, who had a season-low in turnovers with only seven.

With the win, the Mustangs moved into a tie for third place in the Big West standings with three regular season games left. The top four teams get a first round by in the upcoming Big West Championship.

It was a tight opening quarter with the Gauchos (16-11, 10-7 BW) leading it by three heading into the second. After UCSB hit a three to open the second quarter to take an 18-12 lead, Cal Poly responded with a 9-2 run to get the lead back 21-20. The Mustangs led it 28-25 at the half.

Cal Poly exploded in the third, outscoring the Gauchos 25-13 in the quarter. A 14-3 run by the Mustangs over the final five minutes of the third pushed Cal Poly’s lead up to 53-38 as UCSB was held scoreless the final three-and-a-half minutes of the quarter.

The Gauchos got back in it in the fourth as they went on an 18-3 run from the nine minute mark to the four minute mark to cut Cal Poly’s lead down to three.

A McNicholas three with three minutes left put Cal Poly back up by six. UCSB made it a three-point game again after hitting a three with one minute remaining. However, on the Mustangs’ next possession, Richards found Ackerman for a layup to put Cal Poly ahead by five and seal the win.

Now in a three-way tie for third in the Big West standings, Cal Poly will look to keep racking up the wins Saturday when going on the road to face Cal State Bakersfield for a 2 p.m. game that can be seen on ESPN+.

(Article courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics)

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