COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's basketball team will conclude the non-conference portion of its schedule on the road Friday evening, visiting UCLA at Pauley Pavilion to wrap up the calendar year. Tipoff against the Bruins is set for 5 p.m. in Westwood Dec. 28.
UCLA (6-5) topped Illinois-Chicago 78-47 on Dec. 19 for its third straight win. The Bruins, who had a pair of WNBA draftees last April following a run to the Elite Eight, have won 51 of their past 55 games at home.
Michaela Onyenwere, a Pac-12 All-Freshman selection at forward in 2017-18, leads UCLA with 15.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while senior guard Kennedy Burke, an All-Pac-12 honorable mention a year ago, averages 14.7 points and 6.3 boards.
The two programs last met in November 2016, with the Bruins, then ranked No. 9, winning 80-64 to improve to 8-0 in the all-time series.
VESELA SCORES 17 IN MUSTANG DEBUT, LEADS CAL POLY TO WIN AT SEATTLE U: Making her Cal Poly debut, junior forward Hana Vesela scored a team-high 17 points against Seattle U on Dec. 17, leading the Mustangs to a 60-50 win.
Vesela, who played for the Czech Republic U-20 program at the 2016 FIBA European Championship, joined the Mustangs in a practice capacity this past February as a mid-year transfer from Michigan State.
The 6-foot-4 native of Pribor, Czech Republic shot 7-for-19 overall in her first appearance as a Mustang, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range, and grabbed seven rebounds in her 28 minutes.
Defensively, Cal Poly (3-7) limited Seattle to six points in the third, the Mustangs' fewest points allowed in any quarter all year.
STANBACK NO. 7 IN THE BIG WEST IN SCORING: Mustang senior center Devin Stanback comes into this week seventh in the Big West in scoring, averaging 14.0 points. Additionally, her field-goal percentage of .544 (fourth throughout the conference) ranks 51st nationally.
Stanback, also grabbing 5.0 rebounds per game, posted career highs of 30 points and 11 rebounds in the 88-85 loss at Sacramento State on Nov. 11.
STAHLEY TOP-5 IN CONFERENCE IN BOTH STEALS, ASSISTS: Cal Poly senior point guard Dye Stahley begins the weekend ranked No. 5 in the conference in both assists per game (4.9) and steals (2.0).
In addition, Stahley — whose 33.9 minutes played per game so far in 2018-19 are the fifth-most in the conference — also ranks No. 4 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2). Stahley won the Big West Best Hustle Award as a junior.
NUNNELLEY, HOLT, ROUFOSSE ALSO AMONG CONFERENCE LEADERS: Averaging 6.2 rebounds, Cal Poly senior forward Katie Nunnelley opens the week ranked ninth 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 .875 via 21-for-24, Nunnelley is second throughout the Big West in free-throw percentage.
Sophomore guard Malia Holt and junior forward Alicia Roufosse, meanwhile, also rank among the Big West leaders in several categories. Holt is ninth (3.2) in assists per game plus seventh in steals (1.8), while Roufosse is 11th throughout the conference in rebounding (at 6.0 per game), as well as fifth in field-goal percentage (.518).
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.
Additional Mustang games throughout the season feature more fan giveaways along with campus and community events inside Mott Athletics Center (with more to be announced):
• Jan. 5 (Sat.) vs. UC Irvine • 2 p.m.
A Youth Basketball Day in Mott, the game vs. the Anteaters will feature free admission for kids 13-and-under. Mustang Kids Club members can also participate in a free youth basketball clinic with the team from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by free pizza.
• Feb. 9 (Sat.) vs. UC Davis • 2 p.m.
For Play4Kay Day, fans are encouraged to wear pink to support cancer awareness, and for every ticket purchased, $2 will go directly to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund to support cancer research. Fans can also make a donation at the game, or pledge a donation for every free throw Cal Poly makes in February as part of the Play4Kay Free Throw Challenge.
• March 2 (Sat.) vs. CSUN • 2 p.m.
In addition to Senior Day, the home finale will also be a Poly Play Day, as kids are invited to an annual pregame carnival at 1 p.m. in the Stampede Club Tent, followed by free admission for youth 13-and-under.
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 Conclude Non-Conference Play Visiting UCLA Friday
COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)