COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly continues a four-game home stand this week, as the Mustang women's basketball team will host Eastern Washington at 11 a.m. Wednesday before taking on Saint Mary's in Mott Athletics Center at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Eastern Washington (1-3) is led by senior guard Violet Kapri Morrow, a 2017-18 All-Big Sky third-team honoree, averaging 15.8 points along with 7.3 rebounds. Freshman point guard Jessica McDowell-White is adding 9.3 points per game while shooting 44.1 percent from 3-point range for the Eagles.
A year ago in Cheney, Wash., EWU edged the Mustangs 75-72, improving to 2-3 against Cal Poly all-time.
Sydney Raggio, a second-team All-WCC forward as a junior last season, leads Saint Mary's (3-2) with 12.6 points per game, in addition to ranking fourth in her conference averaging 7.8 boards.
Megan McKay, a 2018 first-team all-conference selection, adds 11.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for SMC. The Gaels, 11-0 against Cal Poly all-time, finished 20-11 last year en route to a WNIT appearance.
The Mustangs (1-6) are coming off a 70-63 loss to Pepperdine on Nov. 24. Before and during each of the games, Cal Poly will be collecting food donations for the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo, with collection barrels at the main entrance to Mott.
Following the home stand, Cal Poly will go into a two-week break covering final exams week for the winter quarter, before returning to the court in the Pacific Northwest at defending WAC Tournament champion Seattle U on Dec. 17.
STANBACK NO. 5 IN THE BIG WEST IN SCORING: Mustang senior center Devin Stanback comes into this week ranked No. 5 in the Big West in scoring, averaging 16.0 points. For the season, Stanback's total of 45 made field goals ranks No. 27 nationally.
Fourth in the conference in field-goal percentage at .563, Stanback is also grabbing 4.7 rebounds per game. She posted career highs of 30 points and 11 rebounds in the 88-85 loss at Sacramento State on Nov. 11.
NUNNELLEY FIFTH IN REBOUNDING: Averaging 7.3 rebounds, Cal Poly senior forward Katie Nunnelley opens the week ranked fifth in the conference. She notched her second double-double in seven days against USF on Nov. 18, leading Cal Poly with a career-best 21 points to go with 10 boards.
Nunnelley corralled 17 rebounds at Sacramento State. The most rebounds by a Mustang since Hannah Gilbert secured 18 at UC Irvine on Jan. 9, 2016, Nunnelley's effort was seven boards back of the single-game school record (24 by Sherrie Atteberry in 1987). Additionally, at .850 (via 17-for-20), Nunnelley leads the Big West in free-throw percentage through three weeks.
STAHLEY, HOLT, ROUFOSSE ALSO AMONG CONFERENCE LEADERS: Senior point guard Dye Stahley, sophomore guard Malia Holt and junior forward Alicia Roufosse also rank among the Big West leaders in several categories.
Stahley ranks fifth in assists (4.9) and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9), while Holt is seventh (4.1) in assists, plus sixth in steals (2.1) per game. With Holt and Stahley combining for an average of 9.0 assists, the Mustangs are second in the conference in assists as a team (16.4 per game).
Stahley, whose 228 minutes played so far in 2018-19 are the 49th-most in the country, won the Big West Conference Best Hustle Award as a junior. Roufosse, meanwhile, who left the Mustangs' 74-51 loss to Illinois Nov. 23 with an injury, is still eighth throughout the conference in rebounding, at 6.7 per game.
VESELA SET TO MAKE MUSTANG DEBUT IN MID-DECEMBER: The Mustangs returned seven letterwinners from last year's squad that finished second in the Big West standings at 11-5 en route to a semifinals appearance at the conference tournament, going 17-12 overall. They're joined by a recruiting class of 11 newcomers in 2018-19.
Among the 11 newcomers, Cal Poly will welcome junior power forward Hana Vesela to the court in mid-December. Vesela, a mid-year transfer last season from Michigan State, helped the Spartans reach the NCAA Tournament as a sophomore, averaging 2.8 points and 1.1 rebounds while shooting .458 overall (as well as .455 from 3-point range and .714 from the free-throw line) in her 8.9 minutes per 21 appearances (including two starts) in 2016-17.
Vesela, expected to return active Dec. 17, played for the Czech Republic U-20 program at the 2016 FIBA European Championship.
FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: Mustang tickets are available at GoPoly.com, by calling (805) 756-4849 or by visiting the sidewalk window at the on-campus Performing Arts Center from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Families are encouraged to sign up for the Mustang Kids Club ($10 per child 8th grade or under), as over $300 in benefits include ongoing free admission to all 2018-19 regular-season soccer, volleyball, wrestling & women's basketball events along with select football, men's basketball and baseball games; plus invitations to exclusive events; opportunities to be an honorary captain at Mustang home games; a birthday card from Musty; free gelato at SLO Sweets every month (along with birthday scavenger hunts) and a T-Shirt.
Cal Poly students always get into games for free, and are also invited to join the Stang Gang. Stang Gang, Cal Poly's student fan group, features several rewards for a $10 one-time lifetime registration fee, including prizes from sponsors such as Adidas, Amazon, SLO Sweets, Woodstock's Pizza, Eureka! Burger, Splash Café and Frank's Famous Hot Dogs, a member T-Shirt, and more upon reaching point levels by checking in at games.
Links to follow Mustang games live throughout the season can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.
Photos © Owen Main
Cal Poly to Host Eastern Washington Wednesday, St. Mary's Saturday
COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)