COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly wraps up the 2018-19 season on the road Wednesday night, as the Mustang women's basketball team will visit UC Davis at 6 p.m. in The Pavilion.
UC Davis won its third straight regular-season Big West title this past Saturday, moving to 13-1 in conference play (21-6 overall) via its 12th consecutive victory, 63-44 at UC Irvine. Aggie senior forward Morgan Bertsch was named Big West Player of the Week on Monday, tying the conference single-season record with her sixth accolade this year.
Bertsch comes into this week as the nation's fourth-leading scorer, averaging 23.9 points.
Senior guard Kourtney Eaton is third in the conference in assists (4.8), in addition to adding 7.7 points per game for the Aggies, who rank No. 6 in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (limiting opponents to a conference-best 34.5 percent).
Also for the Aggies, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT last season, Kourtney's twin sister Karley Eaton, also a starter in the backcourt, ranks fifth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.65).
Cal Poly (6-20, 3-12), which had a 13-year streak of Big West Tournament qualifying snapped last weekend, was eliminated from the conference tournament for the first time since 2005 when UCSB topped UC Riverside on March 2.
The Mustangs, looking to bounce back from a 61-49 loss to CSUN, head north aiming to play spoiler against the Aggies, who lead the all-time rivalry 31-24. UCD won the earlier-season matchup, 85-61 on Feb. 9 at Mott Athletics Center, starting the second half on a 24-2 run after Cal Poly played to a 41-35 deficit through the opening half.
STAHLEY RISING IN THE RECORD BOOK: Cal Poly point guard Dye Stahley now ranks among the top 15 in program history for two career categories.
Stahley, a senior from Mesa, Arizona, has moved to No. 6 in school history for all-time assists, with 340. Additionally, Stahley ranks 13th at Cal Poly in career steals, with 158 — three shy of Susanne Carey (1991-95) for the No. 12 spot.
For the season, Stahley begins the week leading the conference in both steals per game (2.3) and assists (5.2 — ranking 40th nationally).
If she holds at No. 1 in the conference in assists and steals, she'd become just the second woman in the history of the Big West to lead the league in both for the same year. (Leilani Mitchell, a future WNBA draft pick, became the first player to achieve the feat while starring for former Big West member Idaho in both 2004 and 2005, and no one since has finished leading the conference in each category simultaneously in a season.)
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. 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 36.9 minutes played per game in 2018-19 ranks No. 1 in the conference and 25th throughout the country.
STANBACK NO. 13 IN THE BIG WEST IN SCORING: Mustang senior center Devin Stanback comes into this week 13th in the Big West in scoring, averaging 10.9 points.
Additionally, her field-goal percentage of .517 (second throughout the conference) ranks 49th nationally. Stanback joined Stahley on the All-Tournament Team for the ShareSLO Holiday Beach Classic on Nov. 24.
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 11.5 points, tops on the squad overall (also ranking 12th specific to conference play, at 11.5 points per game in Big West action). 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.
NUNNELLEY, ROUFOSSE ALSO AMONG CONFERENCE LEADERS: Averaging 5.7 rebounds, Cal Poly senior forward Katie Nunnelley opens the week 11th 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).
Junior forward Alicia Roufosse, meanwhile, also ranks among the Big West leaders in two categories, starting this week 11th throughout the conference in field-goal percentage (via .441) and 12th in rebounding (5.5 per game).
FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: BigWestTV and KDVS will broadcast the March 6 finale. Links can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.
Photos © Owen Main / Darren Taylor
Mustangs Close Season Visiting UC Davis Wednesday at 6 p.m.
COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (PDF)