NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge matched a season-high with six players scoring in double figures as the Matadors pulled away in a dominating second half to top the visiting Pacifica College Gladiators 99-58 Saturday night in The Matadome.
Northridge (3-6), which led by eight points at halftime (42-34), outscored Pacifica by 33 points (57-24) in the second half to win by a season-high 41 points. The Matadors converted a season-high 51.3% of its shots from the floor and also matched a season-high with nine three-point baskets.
Freshman Stephan Hicks again paced the Matadors on offense scoring a team-high 18 points to go with a team-high 10 rebounds and a pair of assists. Hicks finished 7-11 from the floor and a perfect 4-4 from the line in 21 minutes of action. Sophomore Josh Greene narrowly missed a rare triple-double after scoring 15 points, dishing out 11 assists and pulling down seven rebounds.
Stephen Maxwell (12), Allan Guei (11), Aqeel Quinn (10) and Michael Lizarraga (10) also scored in double figures for the Matadors who outscored the out-manned Gladiators 47-26 off the bench. In his 2011-12 debut, Lizarraga also pulled down seven rebounds (five offensive) in 16 minutes as Northridge out-rebounded the much smaller Gladiators 53-20.
A Maxwell dunk gave the Matadors their largest lead of the first half (31-15) at the 8:04 mark. A Greene three pointer kept Northridge in front by 14 (34-20) with 6:46 left before the break but Pacifica engineered an 8-2 run over the next three minutes to trim the lead to 36-28. A John Hayward-Mayhew tip-in off a Lizarraga miss boosted the lead back to double digits (42-32) with two minutes remaining but an Alex Brandon layup following a CSUN turnover sent the Gladiators to the locker room trailing by eight.
The Matadors came charging out of the break, outscoring Pacifica 15-5 over the first five-plus minutes to erase any thoughts of a Gladiator upset. Allen Jiles IV stole a Pacifica pass and fed Guei for a layup putting Northridge up by 28 points with 9:38 left and the margin only grew from there.
The only drama left in The Matadome down the stretch was whether the Matadors would reach 100 points for the first time since scoring 109 against Vanguard in November of 2010.
Quincy Spencer led the Gladiators with a game-high 22 points while Alex Brandon added 12 points before fouling out. After shooting a solid 48.1% from the floor in the first half, Pacifica was held to a 27.3% clip in the second half.
Cal State Northridge concludes the pre-conference portion of the 2011-12 schedule next Thursday, Dec. 22nd as the Matadors travel to Seattle to take on the University of Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena.
- GO MATADORS -