The Cal Poly men’s and women’s basketball teams will both be looking to change their fortunes in the new year, as both programs only recorded one win over winter break.
Cal Poly Men’s Basketball (4-9) lost four out of five games in the span of three weeks. The Mustangs’ packed mid-December schedule began on the road against California (5-9) on Saturday, Dec. 15. While senior guard Donovan Fields put up a game-high 26 points, the Bears took a 67-66 win over the Mustangs. With California’s eventual game-winning shot being made with 3.8 seconds left on the clock, Cal Poly was unable to convert on the final possession.
Just three days later, the Mustangs traveled to CSU Bakersfield (10-5) on Dec. 18. The Mustangs were unable to recover from trailing 23-39 after the first half. Despite freshman guard Junior Ballard leading the Mustangs with a career-high 21 points, the Roadrunners took the win 74-61.
On Dec. 21 inside Mott Athletics Center, Cal Poly allowed its nine-point lead to slip away in the final six minutes of regulation against Texas-Arlington (4-11), who eventually took the 75-70 win. The Mustangs led 39-33 after the first half but committed 29 personal fouls throughout the game. The Mavericks shot 23-34 from the free throw line and outscored the Mustangs 14-9 in overtime.
The Mustangs ended 2018 in a 75-54 loss at Siena (5-10) on Dec. 29. However, Cal Poly opened the new year with a 68-47 win over Holy Names (4-9) on Jan. 4 inside Mott Athletics Center. After allowing the Hawks to take a 12-4 lead early in the game, the Mustangs responded with a 25-2 run to take a 33-21 lead at halftime. The Mustangs did not let up, with senior guard Marcellus Garrick recording a game-high 19 points.
Men’s Basketball will open Big West Conference play at UC Santa Barbara (11-3) on Wednesday, Dec. 9 before hosting CSUN (6-10) on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Cal Poly Women’s Basketball (3-9) began the break by picking up its third win of the season, taking down Seattle U (0-11) 60-50 on Dec. 17. Junior forward Hana Vesela made an immediate impact in her first game as a Mustang with a team-high 17 points and seven rebounds. After trailing 26-27 at halftime, the Mustangs held the Redhawks to only six points in the third quarter. Senior point guard Dye Stahley dished out a game-high six assists in the 60-50 win.
The Mustangs then suffered a 81-35 thrashing at the hands of UCLA (9-5) on Dec. 28. The Bruins began the game with a 15-0 run and never looked back. The Mustangs trailed 17-48 after the first half and were held to two points in the fourth quarter.
On Jan. 5, The Mustangs hosted UC Irvine (11-2) inside Mott Athletics Center, but ended up starting 2019 and Big West Conference play with a 75-59 loss to the Anteaters. After leading 38-32 through the first half, the Mustangs saw their lead disappear in a second half collapse. Cal Poly only made 7 of 29 shots from inside the arc and 1 of 5 from three-point range. Senior guard Devin Stanback recorded a team-high 17 points.
Women’s Basketball will host UC Santa Barbara (3-11) on Saturday, Jan. 12 inside Mott Athletics Center.