COMPLETE GAME PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly men's basketball program plays its first home game in 31 days when hosting Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, Dec. 8. Tip time inside Mott Athletics Center is 7 p.m. for Cal Poly (2-5), which closed a six-game road trip with a 76-67 loss at Fresno State on Dec. 1. Saturday's matchup marks the final contest of Bethune-Cookman's three-game West Coast road trip. The Wildcats (4-5) fell at Saint Mary's Tuesday evening (93-61) and visit San Jose State on Thursday before meeting Cal Poly.
FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Chris Sylvester will have the play-by-play call of Saturday's matchup versus Bethune-Cookman for ESPN 1280 in San Luis Obispo County and via GoPoly.com HERE … live stats and streaming video of the game will also be available via GoPoly.com HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS BETHUNE-COOKMAN: Cal Poly's 67-53 loss at Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 12, 2017 marked the program's first all-time matchup versus the Wildcats, the program's first game in the state of Florida and just the second matchup versus a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference program in school history.
HOME IS WHERE THE (NON-CONFERENCE) WINS ARE: Under 10th-year head coach Joe Callero, Cal Poly is 26-9 inside Mott Athletics Center in non-conference home games. The Mustangs have won nine of their last 11 home matchups versus non-Big West opposition.
FIELDS CAL POLY'S CATALYST: One of Cal Poly's top two scorers during each of his three seasons as a Mustang, senior guard Donovan Fields enters Saturday's matchup ranked eighth among Big West players with a team leading 14.1 points per game. Topped by a career high 30-point effort versus Menlo College (Nov. 7), Fields has scored 20-plus points three times this year and totaled four double-digit scoring games. The leading free throw shooter in Cal Poly program history at 88.5 (162-for-183) percent, Fields is averaging 12.3 career points per game and has scored in double figures 42 times in 69 (60.9 percent) Division I appearances. He requires just 149 more points to become the 24th player in program history to reach 1,000. Also one of the top distributors in Cal Poly history, Fields is third among Big West players at 4.1 assists per game and 11th all-time with 214 career assists.
AS THE CROWE LETS IT FLY: Cal Poly's co-leader with four double-digit scoring games after finishing with a career high 22 points at Fresno State (Dec. 1), sophomore wing Mark Crowe now ranks 31st among NCAA Division I players with a 48.5 (16-for-33) percent three-point mark. Crowe, who has knocked down multiple three-pointers in five of seven games, also ranks fourth among Big West players with a 52.8 (28-for-53) percent field goal mark and 14th in both points (10.9) and rebounds (5.1) per game.
HOLLINGSWORTH ON THE BLOCK: The fourth leading shot blocker in Cal Poly program history, junior forward Hank Hollingsworth chalked up his third career double-double with career highs for points (14) and rebounds (12) versus USC Upstate (Nov. 24). With 90 career blocks, Hollingsworth requires just 46 more to match the program record of 136 established by Varnie Dennis (2000-04). On the boards, Hollingsworth leads Cal Poly and ranks 10th among Big West players with 5.3 rebounds per game.
CALLERO CLIMBS THE WINS CHART: Tenth-year head coach Joe Callero moved into sole possession of third place on the Cal Poly career victories chart with his 122nd win as Mustang head coach during the program's Nov. 24 triumph versus USC Upstate. Having surpassed Steve Beason (1986-95) for third place in program history, Callero ranks 18th in career victories in Big West Conference history.
CAL POLY'S QUALITY CONTROL: No Division I program has committed fewer turnovers per game since the beginning of the 2012-13 season than Cal Poly, which has averaged just 10.11 turnovers per 194 matchups (1,962 turnovers total). Cal Poly has led the Big West in fewest turnovers per game in five of the last six years.
LOOKING AHEAD (DEC. 15 & 18): Cal Poly closes the 2018 calendar year with three road games in the next four dates, starting with a Saturday, Dec. 15 matchup at California and continuing on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at CSU Bakersfield. Both games tip at 7 p.m. for Cal Poly, which faces California for just the seventh time in program history and looks to snap a four-game slide versus the Golden Bears following the program's only victory inside Haas Pavilion – a 63-62 triumph on Nov. 12, 2003. Meanwhile, Cal Poly's matchup at CSU Bakersfield marks the first meeting with the Roadrunners in seven seasons.
ETC.: Cal Poly improved to 39-1 against non-Division I programs with its 82-75, season-opening win versus Menlo College (Cal Poly transitioned to Division I prior to the 1994-95 season) … the 13,995-fan attendance figure for Cal Poly's Nov. 11 game at Arizona marked the largest crowd for a Mustangs game since 17,995 fans packed the Scottrade Center in St. Louis for the program's 2014 NCAA Tournament second round matchup versus Wichita State (March 21, 2014) … Cal Poly's scheduled Nov. 16 game at Sacramento State was postponed due to continued poor air quality related to the Camp Fire (a makeup date has not yet been announced) … Cal Poly's Nov. 19 matchup at Washington State marked the program's first and only meeting against the Cougars since Feb. 10, 1976 and leaves Oregon (one all-time meeting) as the least frequent Pac-12 Conference opponent in Mustang history … Cal Poly's six-game road trip from Nov. 11-Dec. 1 marked the fourth time in five years the Mustangs embarked on a road trip of six games or lengthier.