The start of home Big West Conference play for men’s and women’s basketball marks a noteworthy weekend for Cal Poly athletics.
The men’s basketball team (6-8, 0-1 Big West) looks to recover after a tough loss against Hawaii last Wednesday in the Mustangs’ conference opener.
The Mustangs host their first home conference game on Thursday, competing in the Blue-Green Rivalry game against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (6-8, 0-1 Big West) in Mott Athletics Center at 7 p.m.
The men’s basketball team last played UCSB at the end of last season, losing 54-50 loss to the Gauchos in the 2015 Big West Conference Tournament quarterfinal. They have not defeated the Gauchos since 2014.
After last weekend’s bye, the Mustangs have plenty of rest leading up to Thursday’s game. The first 200 students will receive green t-shirts at the game in part of the “Green Out” celebration.
The men’s basketball team will also compete on Saturday, facing Long Beach State (8-9, 2-0) in the Mott Athletics Center at 7 p.m. The Mustangs had a 1-1 record against the 49ers last season.
Saturday’s game is themed as a “Black Out” and 600 commemorative black shirts will be distributed to students at the game.
The women’s basketball team (8-7, 1-1 Big West) faces Cal State Fullerton (2-13, 0-1 Big West) on Saturday in Mott Athletics Center at 4 p.m. The Mustangs ended last season in a game against the Titans when the two teams competed in the 2015 Big West Conference Tournament quarterfinals. Cal Poly lost 55-48.
Saturday’s game is both “Heroes Day” and “Senior Citizens Day,” as the team is inviting all active or retired military personnel, fire fighters and police, as well as senior citizens, to attend the game free of charge.
The wrestling team will also be in action this weekend, hosting No. 25 Duke on Sunday at 7 p.m. in Mott Athletics Center. The Mustangs lost to CSU Bakersfield 26-9 in their last match on Friday, Jan. 8.
After sweeping Pacific last Saturday, the Cal Poly men’s and women’s swimming teams will return to the pool on Saturday to host UC Santa Cruz. The meet begins at 11 a.m. in Anderson Aquatic Center and will be celebrated as the Mustangs’ Senior Day. The diving team will travel to UCLA to compete in the Bruin Diving Invitational today continuing on through Saturday.
With the start of the conference season for men’s and women’s basketball and the meat of the season coming up for swimming and diving, as well as wrestling, this weekend’s games will play an integral part in each team’s season.