COMPLETE GAME PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly men's basketball program plays three of its final five regular season games at home inside Mott Athletics Center, beginning with a Saturday, Feb. 23 matchup versus Hawai'i. Tip time is 7 p.m. for Cal Poly (5-19, 1-10), which enters Saturday's game trailing eighth-place UC Riverside (9-18, 3-8) by two games in the Big West standings. The Highlanders control the final spot for the March 14-16 Big West Tournament in Anaheim. Hawai'i (16-10, 7-5), which shares third place alongside UC Santa Barbara (18-8, 7-5), defeated Cal Poly on O'ahu on Feb. 14. The Warriors enter Saturday's matchup having won five of their last eight games.
FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Chris Sylvester will have the play-by-play call of Saturday's game versus Hawai'i 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 HAWAI'I: Cal Poly's 78-64 home win versus Hawai'i last year snapped a three-year slide inside Mott Athletics Center against the Warriors. Including a 75-54 home victory on Feb. 14, however, Hawai'i has won seven of the last eight matchups and leads the all-time series (9-7).
FIELDS REMAINS 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 game versus Hawai'i ranked seventh among Big West players with a team leading 15.6 points per game. Topped by career high 30-point efforts versus Menlo College (Nov. 7) and CSUN (Jan. 12), a 28-point showing against Bethune-Cookman (Dec. 8) and a 26-point performance at California (Dec. 15), Fields has scored 20-plus points seven times this year and chalked up a team leading 18 double-digit scoring games. He also owns the top six scoring games by a Mustang this season. The third leading free throw shooter in Cal Poly program history at 86.7 (195-for-225) percent, Fields is averaging 13.1 career points per game and has scored in double figures 56 times in 86 (65.1 percent) Division I appearances. One of only 24 players in program history to score 1,000 career points, Fields currently ranks 16th all-time with 1,126 points. Also one of the top ball-handlers in Cal Poly history, Fields is fourth among Big West players at 4.3 assists per game and ninth in program history with 286 career assists. Regarding steals, Fields ranks fifth in the Big West at 1.4 per game and is one of only eight players in program history to record at least 100 during a career (currently 104).
AS THE CROWE LETS IT FLY: Now ranked 27th among NCAA Division I players with a 43.4 (49-for-113) percent three-point mark, sophomore wing Mark Crowe has emerged as Cal Poly's third leading scorer at 9.7 points per game. Also second among Mustangs with 14 double-digit scoring games, Crowe scored a career best 22 points at Fresno State (Dec. 1) while notching 18 versus UTA (Dec. 21) and 16 at UC Davis (Jan. 19). Crowe has also knocked down multiple three-pointers in 15 of 24 games.
HOLLINGSWORTH ON THE BLOCK: The fourth leading shot blocker in program history with 107 career blocks, junior forward Hank Hollingsworth requires just 30 more to overtake the program record of 136 established by Varnie Dennis (2000-04). This season, he ranks third among Big West players at 1.1 blocks per game. Also the second leading shooter in program history at 59.9 (112-for-187) percent, Hollingsworth chalked up his third career double-double with career highs for points (14) and rebounds (12) versus USC Upstate (Nov. 24). He also recorded 12 points at Siena (Dec. 29) and grabbed 10 boards against CSUN (Jan. 12). On the boards, Hollingsworth leads Cal Poly and ranks 13th among Big West players with 5.0 rebounds per game.
GARRICK SETS THE SCORING TONE: A 15-point effort at Hawai'i (Feb. 14) was senior guard Marcellus Garrick's 12th double-digit scoring game of the year while his 6-for-7 three-point performance at UC Riverside (Jan. 31) marked the finest showing beyond the arc by a Mustang this season. Both efforts have Garrick ranked second in Cal Poly's lineup at 9.8 points per game. A starter in 20 of 24 games, Garrick has sunk multiple three-pointers in a game 13 times.
JOB WELL DONE: Having recorded just 42 points during his first 15 games as a Mustang, junior guard Job Alexander – in his last seven outings – has averaged 8.9 points per game and produced all four of his double-digit scoring efforts. Alexander, who scored a career high 15 points at UC Riverside (Jan. 31), is shooting 44.7 percent this season.
INTO THE NIGHT: Through 24 games, Cal Poly has played a program record five overtime games this season and posted a 2-3 mark. Alongside SIU-Edwardsville, Cal Poly co-leads all 351 Division I programs in overtime games this season. Dating to last year, Cal Poly has played 10 overtime periods in its last 28 games.
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 10.21 turnovers per 211 matchups (2,155 turnovers total). Cal Poly has led the Big West in fewest turnovers per game in five of the last six years and ranks third this season at just 12.1 per night.
LOOKING AHEAD (FEB. 25-MARCH 3): Cal Poly embarks on its final road trip of the regular season when visiting Cal State Fullerton (Thursday, Feb. 28) and Long Beach State (Saturday, March 2). Tip time is 7 p.m. both evenings with each game broadcast on ESPN3.
ETC.: 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 … 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 80-78 home win versus Bethune-Cookman marked the program's first victory versus a MEAC program … Cal Poly's Dec. 29 matchup at Siena marked the program's first game in New York state in 59 seasons and first game against a MAAC opponent since visiting Saint Peter's on Dec. 14, 1973 … Cal Poly improved to 40-1 against non-Division I programs with its 68-47 win versus Holy Names (Cal Poly transitioned to Division I prior to the 1994-95 season) … Cal Poly's Jan. 31 game at UC Riverside marked head coach Joe Callero's 300th game with the Mustangs. He's just the third person in Cal Poly program history to coach 300-plus games.