Cal Poly Women's Basketball Announces 2017-18 Schedule

Cal Poly Women's Basketball Announces 2017-18 Schedule

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly women's basketball program announced its 2017-18 schedule on Wednesday, featuring 13 home games.

The Mustangs will open at San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 10 before hosting Grand Canyon in the home opener Thursday, Nov. 16. After a Nov. 19 trip to Saint Mary's, Cal Poly will return to Mott Athletics Center to host the 11th annual ShareSLO Holiday Beach Classic.

The schedule for the Thanksgiving tournament, which is free to attend, is as follows:

Friday, Nov. 24 - 2 p.m. • Robert Morris vs. Cal Poly
Saturday, Nov. 25 - 2 p.m. • San Francisco vs. Robert Morris
Sunday, Nov. 26 - 12 noon • San Francisco vs. Cal Poly

Among the Mustangs' four opening opponents, the Dons and Gaels lost in the 2017 WCC semifinals and title game, respectively, while Robert Morris won its second straight Northeast Conference championship.

"We have had longstanding competitions with WCC opponents, and I hope that those games will be as tightly contested as they have been every year," Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh said. "We've certainly filled our schedule with WCC, Big Sky and WAC opponents and are excited to see how we will compete outside our region with the Northeast Conference champs, Robert Morris and Big Ten powerhouse Minnesota and North Dakota State from the Summit League."

A three-game homestand will conclude against Cal State Monterey Bay on Tuesday, Nov. 28. (The Otters are coached by Kerri Nakamoto, an assistant at Cal Poly from 2006-13.)

Cal Poly will then embark upon an 11-day, five-game road trip with each matchup traveling to a different state (Dec. 9 at Northern Arizona; Dec. 11 at 2017 Big Sky semifinalist Eastern Washington; Dec. 13 at Minnesota; Dec. 16 at North Dakota State; and Dec. 19 at Utah Valley).

The game at Minnesota marks Cal Poly's first against a Big Ten foe since facing Penn State in 2013 at the NCAA Tournament.

For the second year in a row, the Mustangs will close out the calendar year (as well as non-conference play) vs. CSU Bakersfield, this time at home on Dec. 29.

Cal Poly is set to return 12 letterwinners, including a duo of all-conference honorees in Dynn and Lynn Leaupepe, twins set to enter their senior years both ranked in the top 25 in school history in career scoring.

Lynn Leaupepe, a second-team All-Big West selection as a junior, is 25th all-time with 773 points. She scored 14.7 points per game in 2016-17, in addition to averaging 7.8 rebounds, third-best throughout the conference.

Meanwhile Dynn Leaupepe, who last year broke the single-season school record for free-throw percentage (shooting .887 en route to a second consecutive all-conference honorable mention), is No. 11 in Mustang history with 1,036 points, as well as ranking No. 6 in Big West history in free-throw accuracy (at .815). She averaged 14.8 points and 1.6 steals a year ago.

Big West Conference action will start at UC Riverside on Jan. 4, before heading to UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 6. The Mustangs will then hold their second three-game homestand from Jan. 13-20 — vs. CSUN, UC Irvine and defending regular-season champion UC Davis.

After trips to Long Beach State (Jan. 25), the 2017 conference tournament champion, and Cal State Fullerton (Jan. 27), Cal Poly will welcome Hawai'i (Feb. 1) and UCR (Feb. 3, part of a 2 p.m./7 p.m. doubleheader in Mott, where the Mustang men's basketball squad will take on Hawai'i).

Conference play will continue in Davis (Feb. 7), which last season advanced to the third round of the WNIT, at home against LBSU (Feb. 10), at UCI (Feb. 15) and at CSUN (Feb. 17). The Matadors bring back the reigning Big West Player of the Year, Channon Fluker, a USA Basketball U-23 training camp invitee this summer.

The home edition of the Blue-Green Rivalry with UCSB is scheduled for Feb. 21, before Senior Day vs. Fullerton on Feb. 24. Then for the second time in three years, Cal Poly will wrap up its 28-game regular season in Hawai'i, visiting the Rainbow Wahine on March 3.

"As always, we've compiled a schedule that we believe best prepares us for the demands of the Big West Conference," Mimnaugh added, "where every game is a battle and every game matters for your seeding in the Big West Tournament."

The first round (featuring seeds 5-8) and quarterfinals (adding the No. 3 and 4 seeds) of the 35th annual Big West Tournament will be held from March 6-7 at Fullerton's Titan Gym, before the semifinals and championship game move to the Honda Center in Anaheim for March 9-10.

Cal Poly students always get into games for free, and are also invited to join the Stang Gang. Stang Gang — Cal Poly's student fan group — features several rewards for a $10 one-time lifetime registration fee, including prizes from sponsors such as Woodstock's Pizza, Eureka! and VISA, a member T-Shirt, and more upon reaching point levels by checking in at games.

Families are also encouraged to sign up for the Mustang Kids Club ($5 per child/8th grade or under), as benefits include ongoing free admission to all regular-season soccer, volleyball, wrestling & women's basketball events along with select football, men's basketball and baseball games; plus invitations to exclusive events, birthday cards, free ice cream from Doc Burnstein's and a T-Shirt.

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 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

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