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Cal Poly to Visit CSUN on Thursday, UC Riverside on Saturday

Cal Poly to Visit CSUN on Thursday, UC Riverside on Saturday

COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly will continue Big West Conference play back on the road this week, as the Mustang women's basketball team will visit CSUN at 7 p.m. Thursday in The Matadome, before traveling to UC Riverside for a 5 p.m. tipoff at SRC Arena Saturday.

CSUN (11-12, 5-4) — the defending Big West Tournament champion — is led by senior center Channon Fluker, averaging 15.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.6 blocks (leading the entire country, keying Northridge's No. 35 national ranking in field-goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 36.1-percent shooting).

Matador teammate Serafina Maulupe, a senior guard (as well as also a Preseason All-Conference Team selection), adds 8.1 points per game.

Jannon Otto, a junior guard, averages a team-best 15.0 points along with 6.4 rebounds to lead the Highlanders (11-11, 5-3).

Marina Ewodo and Malou De Kergret add 11.2 and 10.6 points per game at the forward spots for UCR, while Daphne Gnago's 7.0 boards per game for Riverside are tied at No. 4 in the conference. This is actually the first of a rare back-to-back matchup scenario with UCR, as Cal Poly (5-15, 2-7) hosts the Highlanders in Mott Athletics Center at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21.

STAHLEY RISING IN THE RECORD BOOK: Cal Poly point guard Dye Stahley now ranks among the top 20 in program history for two career categories.

Stahley, a senior from Mesa, Arizona, has moved to No. 7 in school history for all-time assists, with 309 — 19 back of Jody Hasselfield (1987-90) for the No. 6 spot. Additionally, Stahley ranks tied for 16th all-time at Cal Poly in career steals, with 139, 10 shy of Hasselfield for No. 15.

Stahley scored 17 points spanning a six-minute, nine-second stretch late in the fourth quarter and into overtime on Feb. 6, leading the Mustangs to a 66-59 comeback victory over Long Beach State thanks to her career-high 23-point effort which helped erase a 53-48 deficit with 27 seconds left in regulation.

For the season, Stahley begins the week third in the conference in steals per game (2.1) and second in assists (5.2 — ranking 34th nationally). The Big West Best Hustle Award recipient as a junior and Cal Poly's Coca-Cola Student-Athlete of the Week on Jan. 14 and Feb. 11, Stahley's average of 36.0 minutes played per game in 2018-19 ranks No. 1 in the conference and 51st throughout the country.

VESELA MAKES IMPACT: Since making her Cal Poly debut in the 60-50 win at Seattle U on Dec. 17, junior forward Hana Vesela is averaging 11.1 points, tops on the squad.

Vesela, who played for the Czech Republic U-20 program at the 2016 FIBA European Championship, joined the Mustangs in a practice capacity last February as a mid-year transfer from Michigan State. The 6-foot-4 native of Pribor, Czech Republic is shooting .464 since conference play began, including .350 (7-for-20) from 3-point range.

STANBACK NO. 11 IN THE BIG WEST IN SCORING: Mustang senior center Devin Stanback comes into this week 11th in the Big West in scoring, averaging 10.9 points.

Additionally, her field-goal percentage of .509 (second throughout the conference) ranks 66th nationally. Stanback joined Stahley on the All-Tournament Team for the ShareSLO Holiday Beach Classic on Nov. 24.

NUNNELLEY ALSO AMONG CONFERENCE LEADERS: Averaging 6.2 rebounds, Cal Poly senior forward Katie Nunnelley opens the week eighth in the conference. Nunnelley corralled 17 rebounds at Sacramento State on Nov. 11. The most 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).

At .795 (via 31-for-39), Nunnelley ranks fifth in the Big West in free-throw percentage for 2018-19.

BIG WEST TOURNAMENT SLATED FOR IRVINE, ANAHEIM: The first round (featuring seeds 5-8) and quarterfinals (adding the No. 3 and 4 seeds) of the 36th annual Big West Tournament will be held from March 12-13 at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, before the semifinals and championship game move to the Honda Center in Anaheim for March 15-16.

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. Links to follow Mustang game broadcasts live throughout the season can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.

Photos © David E. Holmes