Cal Poly

College Basketball: Cal Poly to play at Northern Colorado

Chris Eversley and the Cal Poly men's basketball team will play at Northern Colorado in an ESPN BracketBuster game on Feb. 19.
Chris Eversley and the Cal Poly men's basketball team will play at Northern Colorado in an ESPN BracketBuster game on Feb. 19.

Cal Poly’s men’s basketball team will play at Northern Colorado on Feb. 19 in an ESPN BracketBuster game.

The ESPN BracketBuster series, which matches mid-major teams from around the country in key midseason nonconference games, announced this season’s games Monday.

Northern Colorado won the Big Sky Conference Tournament last season to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Seeded 15th, the Bears lost their opening-round game to second-seeded San Diego State.

The Bears haven’t enjoyed the same success this season as they’re 7-13 overall and 4-5 in the Big Sky Conference after Monday’s overtime win at Northern Arizona.

“We’re excited for this year’s ESPN BracketBuster game against Northern Colorado, a team that has enjoyed good success the last couple of seasons,” Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero said in a news release. “These out-of-conference games give us a chance to play against some new faces and, perhaps, a chance to play in the snow.”

The Feb. 19 game will be only the second meeting between Northern Colorado and the Mustangs. They met Dec. 17, 1990, when both were Division II programs and the Mustangs won 76-62 at home.

Cal Poly is 3-2 all-time in BracketBuster games with wins over Portland State (2007), South Dakota State (2009) and Hawaii (2010). The Mustangs are 13-9 this season and 4-5 in the Big West Conference.

All of the Big West teams will be playing BracketBuster games with the marquee game being Long Beach State at No. 12 Creighton on Feb 18.

Santiago honored again by Big West

Cal Poly senior Kristina Santiago was named the Big West Conference player of the week in women’s basketball Monday for the third time this season and eighth time in her career.

Last week, Santiago led the Mustangs to a 74-64 win over Pacific and an 87-65 won over UC Davis in a rematch of last season’s Big West Conference Tournament championship game, which the Aggies won.

Santiago had 25 points and 14 rebounds against Pacific, including 19 points and 11 rebounds in the second half. Against UC Davis, she had 17 points and six rebounds in only 23 minutes. Cal Poly (5-3 Big West) is in a three-way tie for second in the conference.

Santiago is fifth in the nation in scoring (23.3 points per game), 23rd in rebounding (10.2 per game) and 10th in field-goal percentage (.561).