COMPLETE GAME PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Playing just one game during a 13-day span and opening a stretch with four December home games for the first time in nine years, the Cal Poly men's basketball program welcomes Pepperdine to Mott Athletics Center on Saturday, Dec. 2. Tip time is 7 p.m. for Cal Poly (3-4), which enters the week ranked 36th among 351 NCAA Division I programs with a 41.4 (72-for-174) percent three-point mark. Cal Poly, which also hosts Fresno State (Dec. 9), defending Ivy League champion Princeton (Dec. 16) and Division II Notre Dame de Namur (Dec. 30), has won six straight non-conference home games dating to the 2015-16 season. Pepperdine (2-4), playing just its second game at Cal Poly in the past 64 years, hosts Southern Utah Wednesday evening before heading north.
FOLLOW CAL POLY SATURDAY NIGHT: Chris Sylvester will have the call of Saturday's matchup versus Pepperdine for ESPN 1280 in San Luis Obispo County and via GoPoly.com … live stats and streaming video of the game will also be available via GoPoly.com.
CAL POLY VERSUS PEPPERDINE: Cal Poly has faced the Waves just three times at the Division I level and hold a 2-1 advantage. Cal Poly, however, dropped its last matchup to Pepperdine, falling in Malibu to open the 2016-17 season, 77-68. During that game, junior forward Josh Martin grabbed a career high 21 rebounds – the highest total by any Mustang at the Division I level and four shy of the Cal Poly program record. Pepperdine leads the all-time series, 14-8, dating to the first meeting between the two programs on Jan. 23, 1942.
HOME IS WHERE THE (NON-CONFERENCE) WINS ARE: Under ninth-year head coach Joe Callero, Cal Poly is 23-7 inside Mott Athletic Center in non-conference home games. Cal Poly has won six straight at home against non-Big West opposition.
ARC DE TRIOMPHE: Having knocked down double-digit three-pointers in three of its first seven games – including a season high 16 at California (Nov. 12) – Cal Poly enters Saturday's matchup versus Pepperdine ranked 36th among 351 NCAA Division I programs with a 41.4 (72-for-174) percent three-point mark. With junior guard Donovan Fields ranked 33rd among more than 4,000 Division I players with a 51.7 (15-for-29) percent three-point mark, Cal Poly features three players shooting 42.0 percent or higher from three-point range.
THE WELL-ROUNDED DONOVAN FIELDS: Cal Poly's leading scorer at 16.6 points per game, junior guard Donovan Fields enters Saturday's matchup versus Pepperdine as the nation's co-leading free throw shooter at 1.000 (19-for-19) percent and ranked 33rd among more than 4,000 Division I players with a 51.7 (15-for-29) percent three-point mark. Among Big West Conference players, Fields ranks second with 4.6 assists per game, second in scoring and sixth with 1.6 steals per game. Shooting 45.6 (41-for-90) percent from the floor, Fields matched a career high with 23 points at Santa Clara (Nov. 18) and has reached double-digit scoring figures in six of seven games. Averaging 12.3 career points per game, Fields has scored in double figures 25 times in 38 (65.8 percent) Division I appearances.
HOLLINGSWORTH LEADS CAL POLY ON BOTH ENDS: The Big West's second leading shot blocker at 1.9 per game, sophomore forward Hank Hollingsworth also ranks fifth with a 68.4 (13-for-19) percent field goal mark. Cal Poly's leading rebounder at 5.7 boards per game, Hollingsworth recorded his first career double-double with collegiate highs for points (10) and rebounds (11) versus Holy Names (Nov. 15).
GARRICK SHOOTS WAY ONTO NATIONAL SCENE: After opening the season by knocking down his first seven three-point attempts, junior guard Marcellus Garrick enters Saturday's game versus Pepperdine ranked 41st among NCAA Division I players with a 50.0 (12-for-24) percent three-point mark. Garrick, 11th among Big West players with a 51.2 (21-for-41) percent field goal mark, is Cal Poly's third leading scorer with 8.7 points per game and has scored in double figures three times.
CAL POLY'S QUALITY CONTROL: No Division I program has committed fewer turnovers per game since the beginning of the 2012-13 season than Cal Poly, which has averaged just 9.76 turnovers per 163 matchups (1,591 turnovers total). Cal Poly, 120th among 351 Division I programs thus far at 13.0 turnovers per game, has led the Big West in fewest turnovers per game in each of the last five years.
MUSTANGS FACE ANOTHER TESTING SCHEDULE THIS SEASON: Once again contesting one of the Big West Conference's more demanding schedules, Cal Poly will play nine games this season against opponents that qualified for the NCAA Tournament and NIT last year.
LOOKING AHEAD (DEC. 4-10): Playing just one game in a 13-day span, Cal Poly returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 9 with a 7 p.m. home matchup versus Fresno State. The game marks the seventh straight year the two programs have met with the Bulldogs winning last year's matchup in Fresno, 73-59 (Dec. 10, 2016). Cal Poly, which trails in the Division I (9-2) and all-time (48-19) series, won the last matchup in San Luis Obispo with a 77-65 decision (Dec. 5, 2015).
ETC: During a 73-68 win versus the College of Charleston (Nov. 22) – the first game in program history against the Cougars – Cal Poly set a new program record with a 100 (11-for-11) percent mark from the free throw line.