COMPLETE PREVIEW (PDF)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's basketball team will take on Hawai'i at 9 p.m. PST Saturday night, closing the regular season in Honolulu. Spectrum Sports HI will televise the March 3 matchup from the Stan Sheriff Center, while ESPN 1420 AM will also broadcast starting at 7 p.m. local time on O'ahu.
The Mustangs (16-11, 10-5) begin the week in second place in the Big West Conference standings after a 63-56 win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 24, which followed a 73-72 win vs. UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 21.
Senior guard Sarah Toeaina averages a team-leading 16.0 points for the Rainbow Wahine (11-16, 4-10), including a high of 13 in the first meeting between the two schools on Feb. 1, a 52-50 Mustang home win. UH starts the week 8-6 at home on the year.
Toeaina also leads the conference while ranking No. 21 nationally in free-throw attempts (7.0 per game), while Wahine junior point guard Tia Kanoa leads the Big West in assists, averaging 5.1.
The first round (featuring seeds 5-8) and quarterfinals (adding the No. 3 and 4 seeds) of the 35th annual Big West Tournament will be held from March 6-7 at Fullerton's Titan Gym, before the semifinals and championship game move to the Honda Center in Anaheim for March 9-10.
Cal Poly has assured itself of bypassing the opening-day first round, as the Mustangs have clinched at least a spot in the quarters, and could join UC Davis (23-4, 13-1) with a bye to the semifinals, also contingent upon results associated with UC Irvine (17-11, 9-5; visiting CSUN at 7 p.m. Thursday before hosting Fullerton at 2 p.m. Saturday) and UCSB (12-15, 9-6; visiting Hawai'i 48 hours prior to the Mustangs).
Tickets for the Big West Tournament are available both through TicketMaster and the Cal Poly Box Office, at (805) 756-4849 or Tickets.CalPoly.edu. ESPN3 will broadcast the tournament's first three days, before FOX Sports Prime Ticket will televise the championship game.
LEAUPEPE TWINS RISING IN THE RECORD BOOK: Cal Poly seniors Dynn Leaupepe and Lynn Leaupepe each now rank not only in the top 20 in school history for career scoring, but also the top 15 in rebounding.
Dynn is now No. 3 in school history for scoring (with 1,594 points), in addition to recently moving to 10th in boards (585). Her career .818 free-throw percentage ranks as the 27th-highest active total among all Division I players nationally, while her career scoring total ranks 51st throughout the country.
For the season, Leaupepe is averaging 20.7 points (No. 1 in the conference and No. 22 nationally), 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 steals (also No. 1 in the Big West; No. 46 in the nation).
She was named Big West Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career on Feb. 5, in addition to also being selected as one of 10 finalists for HERO Sports' NCAA Player of the Week award. Additionally, on Jan. 8, College Sports Madness selected Leaupepe as National Mid-Major Player of the Week. She scored 40 points — tied for the NCAA's 14th-highest performance this season and six off the school record — Jan. 4 at UC Riverside, as the Mustangs rallied from a 13-point deficit (the program's largest comeback since Nov. 23, 2014) for an 87-82 overtime win. It was Cal Poly's first 40-point game since Dec. 21, 2011. (Cal Poly Hall of Fame enshrinee Laura Buehning owns the school record: 46, set in 1982.)
Lynn Leaupepe — selected Big West Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 26 — enters No. 13 all-time in scoring (1,026) and No. 7 in rebounds (655).
Also chosen as CSM's conference Player of the Week on Nov. 20, Lynn also ranks among the Big West leaders in rebounding (sixth at 7.0 per game), steals (No. 5; averaging 1.8) and scoring (15th; 11.0). Returning from a midseason injury, Lynn Leaupepe established her career-high in rebounding in back-to-back wins Feb. 21 and 24, collecting 14 boards in each game. Lynn, also voted conference Player of the Week on Jan. 23, 2017, earned All-Big West Second Team accolades last season.
The sisters from Camarillo were each chosen to the Preseason All-Big West Team announced Oct. 25 and the ShareSLO Holiday Beach Classic All-Tournament Team on Nov. 26.
MORE MUSTANGS ALSO AMONG BIG WEST LEADERS: Mustang senior forwards Emily Anderson and Mary Kate Evans, freshman guard Ayzhiana Basallo, junior point guard Dye Stahley and junior center Devin Stanback also each rank among the top 10 in the conference for various categories.
Each within the top five individually in steals per game, Stahley along with the Leaupepe sisters have led the Mustangs to the Big West's top spot in steals per game (11.0), ranking 20th nationally as a team.
Stahley is No. 4 in the conference in steals per game (1.9), as well as fifth in assists (3.6) and third in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7). Meanwhile Stanback ranks ninth in field-goal percentage (.475) in addition to 25th in scoring (8.2 points per game); and Anderson & Evans are No. 7 and 8 in 3-point shooting, at .402 (37-for-92) and .398 (35-for-88) while averaging 5.1 and 4.8 points apiece.
Selected as Cal Poly's overall Coca-Cola Student-Athlete of the Week on Dec. 11, Basallo is also in the top 10 in 3-point accuracy, ranked sixth at .408 (29-for-71) while averaging 7.9 points.
Since Big West play began, Evans (selected for CoSIDA Academic Second-Team All-Region accolades Feb. 22) is shooting .491 (27-for-55) from 3-point range, No. 2 in the conference, while Basallo is close at No. 3, via .457 (16-of-35) in league games. Additionally, in conference play, Stahley's assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5 leads the Big West.
Links to follow all Mustang games live can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.
Cal Poly Visits Hawai'i for Saturday Night Regular-Season Finale
COMPLETE PREVIEW (PDF)