Cal State Northridge opens its 2011-12 home season when the Matadors host San Diego Christian on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 ... Game time at The Matadome will be 7:05 p.m. ... The Matadors have played their first three games on the road ... That included a 66-59 loss at USC (11/11/11), a 86-67 loss at Hawai'i (11/14/11) and a 103-61 loss at Boise State (11/19/11).
Cal State Northridge is the youngest team among more than 330 NCAA Division I schools in the country ... Of the 18 players on this year's roster, there are only 12 years of collegiate basketball experience, an average of 0.67 years. UC Irvine is second at 0.69 years ... Navy is third nationally at 0.70 years ... These statistics factor in the team's total years of previous collegiate experience with the number of players on the roster ... The 18-man Matador roster has only three seniors and NO juniors ... The rest of the team is composed of underclassmen (six sophomores, seven freshmen, two redshirt freshmen).
Stephen Hicks (6-5, 190, RS Freshman, Guard/Forward, Thousand Oaks, Ca) has only played in three games in his collegiate career and has already emerged as one of the top players in the Big West Conference ... Hicks is leading the Matadors in both scoring (21.3 ppg, #2 in the Big West Conference) and rebounding (10.0 rpg, #2 in the BWC) ... Hicks started his collegiate career with 19 points and eight rebounds at USC (11/11/11) ... Hicks then followed up with his first collegiate double-double (points-rebounds) with 22 points and 17 rebounds ... The 17 rebounds was only seven rebounds short of the school record set by George Robnett against UC Irvine during the 1970-71 season ... In his last game, Hicks tallied a career-high 23 points against Boise State (11/19/11) ... Hicks also leads the team and the league in free throw shooting (.914, 16-for-17) ... Hicks hit his first 14 free throws before missing a free throw at Boise State (11/19/11) ... Hicks is hitting .400 from three-point territory, seventh-best in the league ... Like Hicks, Vinnie McGhee (5-10, 170, Senior, Guard, Oakland, Ca) has scored in double-figures in the first three games of the 2011-12 season ... McGhee started the season with a season-high 14 points at USC (11/11/11) followed by eleven points at Hawai'i (11/14/11) and 13 points at Boise State (11/19/11) ... McGhee is averaging 12.7 ppg, #12 in the Big West Conference ... McGhee has a team-leading 12 assists (4.0 apg, #4 in the Big West Conference) and is hitting .813 (13-for-16) from the free throw line, #8 in the league ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) has hit 8-of-9 free throws for .889, third-best in the Big West Conference ...
Cal State Northridge leads Big West Conference schools in free throw percentage ... The Matadors are hitting .794 (54-for-68) from the charity stripe ... Four Matador players (Josh Greene, Allan Guei, Stephen Hicks, Vinnie McGhee) have combined to hit 41-of-47 shots for .872 ... Following the game against San Diego Christian (11/22/11), the Matadors again hit the road for game on Drake (11/26/11) ... The Matadors will then return home for a Nov. 30 non-league game against Cal State Bakersfield ... Game time is slated for 7:05 pm.
During the past four seasons, Cal State Northridge basketball has been featured prominently on television (29 times to be exact), including games on CBS, Fox Sports Net and ESPNU ... During CSUN's march to the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09, Matador games were televised a school record nine times ... Matador basketball fans will have the opportunity to see Cal State Northridge three times on television during the 2011-12 men's basketball season ... On November 15, the Matadors will be featured nationally on ESPN against the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. The game will air at 1 a.m. Pacific Time (11 p.m. HT, November 14) at the Stan Sheriff Arena ... Then on January 21, 2012 when the Matadors travel to Cal Poly, the Big West game will be televised on Fox Sports Net (Prime Ticket) at 5:30 p.m. ... On February 25, the Matadors conference game at UC Irvine will be televised on Fox Sports Net (Prime Ticket). Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ... Depending on the team's success in 2011-12, the Matadors could be featured another two times on television ... That would include a "Wild Card" selected game on Saturday, February 4, when the Matadors travel to Big West Conference favorite Long Beach State at 7:30 p.m. ... The game could be televised either on ESPNU or Fox Sports West. Other games also under consideration on February 4 are UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis at UC Riverside, or Pacific at UC Irvine ... Another possible telecast would be on Saturday, February 18, when Cal State Northridge participates in the tenth annual ESPN sponsored SEARS BracketBusters event ... Thirteen nationally televised contests will be selected from a pool of 142 teams from 16 conferences and will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3 ... The SEARS BracketBusters matchups, game times and network assignments will be announced on Monday, January 30.
Challenging is always the trademark of the CSUN basketball schedule, and this year is no exception ... The non-league schedule includes games at Pac-12 schools USC (season opener on Nov. 11, 2011) and at Washington (12/22/11) ... Both the Trojans and Huskies competed in the NCAA Tournament last year ... The CSUN game at USC was the second straight season the Matadors have faced a Pac-12 school in the season opener ... Last year (2010-11), Cal State Northridge opened the regular season at UCLA ... The Matadors will have eleven non-league games in addition to its 16-game Big West Conference schedule ... The conference schedule will open on Dec. 29 against UC Irvine at The Matadome.
This is the first meeting between Cal State Northridge and San Diego Christian.
San Diego Christian is 1-1 this year ... The Hawks opened the 2011-12 season with a 71-62 loss to Carroll College ... Benji Arvizu (6-3, 200, Senior, Guard, Coronoa, Ca.) led the Hawks with 15 points and nine rebuonds ... Their second game resulted in a 75-72 victory over Trevecca Nazarene ... Arvizu scored a team-high 17 points (13-for-14 from the free throw line ) ... Arvizu leads the team in scoring at 16.0 ppg ... In an exhibition game earlier this year, San Diego Christian lost a 84-63 decision to UC Irvine ... In another exhibition game, San Diego Christian held its own but evenutally dropped a 58-55 decision to Pac-12 member Utah, 58-55 ... Tim Cook is in his first season at San Diego Christian.
The final score was a lot closer than the score indicated ... The USC Trojans handed the Matadors a 66-59 loss in the season opener for both teams (11/11/11) at the Galen Center ... It was a contest the Matadors could have won ... The Matadors displayed an amazing array of toughness, determination and pride even after they struggled with some early game scoring problems to dig themselves an early ditch ... Cal State Northridge started the game missing its first nine shots, and at one point was 1-for-17 from the field ... The shooting woes helped the Trojans build a 23-10 lead with 4:19 lead in the first half ... But CSUN refused to fold cutting the USC lead to only six points at 25-19 with 1:20 remaining before halftime ... Cal State Northridge was only down, 29-21, at halftime despite the fact CSUN hit only 4-of-29 shots from the floor for 14 percent ... The Matadors readjusted at halftime and demonstrated to the Trojans they were here to compete and possibly beat the Trojans for a second straight time in the six-game series ... And compete CSUN did ... Vinnie McGhee (5-10, 170, Senior, Guard, Oakland, Ca) helped sparked the Matador comeback. Eight straight points by the senior guard including two three-pointers gave CSUN its first lead of the game, 52-50 with 5:25 to play ... Then Stephan Hicks (6-5, 190, RS Freshman, Thousand Oaks, Ca), who tallied a game-high 19 points in his first collegiate game, scored on a layup with 4:49 to play to give the Matadors a 54-50, their biggest lead of the game ... But USC regained the momentum by scoring eight straight points to take a 58-54 lead with 2:17 remaining ... Cal State Northridge cut the margin to two points, 61-69, on two free throws by Thomas Jacobs (6-6, 215, Sophomore, Forward, San Diego, Ca) with 1:16 remaining ... But USC, a team that featured two seven-footers, was able to pull away to seal the seven-point win, 66-59 ... In addition to Hicks' game-high 19 points, the redshirt freshman added a team-high eight rebounds ... The second game of the 2011-12 season took place at the University of Hawai'i (11/14/11) with the Rainbow Warriors scoring an 86-67 victory over the Matadors in an ESPN game ... Game time was 11:00 p.m. (HT) which translates to 1:00 a.m. on the West Coast ... It was a tale of two halves for Cal State Northridge ... The Matadors led by as many as seven points, 20-13, with 9:23 on the clock before halftime ... But the Matadors couldn't maintain its intensity in the second half, allowing Hawai'i 49 points ... Hicks, the redshirt freshman, provide the offensive and defensive spark for CSUN ... The redshirt freshman tallied his first collegiate double--double with 22 points and 17 rebounds against Hawai'i ... The 17 boards were only seven short of the school record set by George Robnett vs UC Irvine on Jan. 16, 1971 ... McGhee tallied eleven points, his second straight double-digit scoring effort following his 14 points in the season opener at USC (11/11/11) ... In its last game, Stephen Hicks tallied a career-high 12 points along with five rebounds but the Matadors dropped a 103-61 verdict at Boise State (11/19/11).
Last year, Cal State Northridge men's basketball was pegged to finish eighth in the annual Big West Conference pre-season media poll ... The Matadors proved the experts wrong, finishing alone in third place (9-7) and eventually landing a spot in the semi-finals of the Big West Tournament at the Honda Center in Anaheim ... This year (2011-12), the pre-season results are the same ... Cal State Northridge is predicted to finish eighth in this year's conference ... CSUN tallied 61 points to finish just behind UC Davis (63 points) in seventh place, and six points ahead of ninth place UC Irvine (55 points) ... Long Beach State was selected the favorite to claim the 2011-12 Big West men's basketball title ... The 49ers collected 20 first-place votes from the 24-member voting panel for a total of 212 points ... LBS welcomes back four starters from the 2010-11 squad that finished 22-12 overall and won the Big West regular season title by four games with a 12-4 record ... UC Santa Barbara has presented the biggest roadblock to Long Beach State in its quest to reach the NCAA Tournament ... The Gauchos have knocked off the 49ers in the Big West Tournament championship game the last two seasons, earning the conference's automatic bid to the Big Dance ... UCSB was picked to finish second in this year's media poll, receiving the four remaining first-place votes and 196 points ... Cal Poly was picked third in the poll with 158 points ... Cal State Fullerton finished fourth in the media poll with 131 points, followed by UC Riverside in fifth place with 114 points, Pacific with 91 points in sixth place, UC Davis with 62 points in seventh place, Cal State Northridge in eighth place with 61 points, and UC Irvine with 55 points to finish in ninth place in the media poll.