Cal Poly senior point guard Dye Stahley scored a career-high 19 points in a 40-minute effort on Wednesday in Mott Athletics Center, leading the Mustang women’s basketball team to a 59-55 win over Eastern Washington.
Mustang senior center Devin Stanback added 15 points in the win, which came before a crowd of 1,836 on Field Trip Day at Cal Poly, with numerous elementary and middle schools from around the community invited to campus.
It was the third 40-minute performance in four games for Stahley, who came into the day No. 49 in the country for minutes played so far this season. Stahley, the 2018 Big West Hustle Player of the Year, went 7-for-11 from the floor and added a 5-for-6 afternoon at the free-throw line, also adding five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
After Eastern Washington’s leading scorer, senior guard Violet Kapri Morrow, bounced in a 3-pointer on the first possession, Cal Poly answered with eight consecutive points to take an 8-3 lead on a 3 from senior forward Katie Nunnelley almost four minutes in.
The Eagles came back to tie the game by the end of the quarter, however, 12-all, before moving in front in the second, 21-20 on a layup by Morrow 3:26 before the break.
Cal Poly (2-6), which snapped a six-game skid, responded with seven straight points to close out the half, as a Stahley layup followed by a pair of free throws, then a Stahley assist to freshman Alli Hallberg for a 3 gave the Mustangs a 27-21 lead.
The Mustangs finished the third with their largest lead of the day at 11 points, pulling ahead 41-30 on a Stanback lay-in off the glass with 54 seconds to play in the quarter.
Eastern Washington (1-4) rallied to start the fourth, capping a 9-1 run with back-to-back free throws from Morrow to cut the deficit to 42-39 at the 7:06 mark.
The Eagles would move as close as two points back (48-46) on a 3 by Alissa Sealby with 3:31 remaining, before again narrowing it to two (52-50) on a pair of Uriah Howard free throws with 2:08 left.
Holding the two-point lead, Stahley dropped in a runner from just outside the key on the next trip up the floor. Following an EWU miss from 3-point range, Stanback scored again in the post, putting the Mustangs up 56-50 with 52 seconds to go.
Although Howard answered with a 3 to keep the Eagles’ hopes alive late, 56-53, Stahley and sophomore guard Malia Holt combined to make three free throws after a 30-second Mustang timeout — the latter of which extended the lead to 59-53 with 22 seconds remaining.
Morrow, a 2017-18 All-Big Sky third-team honoree, finished with a game-high 26 points (going a perfect 9-for-9 at the foul line), including eight in the fourth alone when the Eagles posted a 25-point quarter.
Defensively, the Mustangs held EWU to nine points in both the second & third quarters, their fewest points allowed in any quarter this year. Stanback, who began the week No. 27 nationally in made field goals for the season (45), shot 5-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe while also securing seven rebounds.
Cal Poly wraps up a four-game homestand Saturday, hosting Saint Mary’s (3-2) at 2 p.m.
–Provided by Cal Poly