Matadors Defeated in Overtime by UC Irvine, 94-85
IRVINE, Calif. – Competing in its first overtime game in more than two years, Cal State Northridge was outscored by an 11-2 margin in the final five minutes of Saturday's game, and fell to UC Irvine by a final score of 94-85.
Stephen Maxwell helped the Matadors regain their lead, scoring the last of his 18 points amongst a sea of Anteater post players with 13 seconds remaining to give CSUN an 83-81 lead.
Even though Irvine (11-17, 6-8 BWC) center Adam Folker tied the game 10 seconds later, Northridge (7-20, 3-12 BWC) still had enough time to run one last play in an attempt to make the game-winning basket, and secure its second straight road victory over the Anteaters.
With four seconds left on the clock, Michael Lizarraga threw a pinpoint pass that covered more than half the court at the Bren Events Center, hitting his teammate Josh Greene in full stride.
As Greene was in the process of pulling up for his jump shot near the Matadors' free throw line, two Anteaters were able to knock the ball out of his hands from behind. Fortunately for CSUN, the ball rolled out of bounds on the baseline near its bench, stopping the clock in the process.
With one second remaining, Greene lobbed a pass to Maxwell who caught the ball in midair near the free throw line, squared his shoulders, and shot the ball in one continuous motion.
Maxwell's shot bounced around the rim and hit the backboard before falling to the ground much to the dismay of the contingent of Matador men's basketball fans in attendance.
By a mater of inches, Northridge was denied its chance to end the game in regulation, and faced its first overtime session of the season.
Conversely, UC Irvine scored 11 unanswered points, and built its largest lead of the game en route to its nine-point victory.
"We played pretty good for 35 minutes," said Northridge head coach Bobby Braswell. "There was a stretch where we committed too many self-inflicted wounds… we just did not do a very good job of finishing plays."
Stephan Hicks led all Matadors with 24 points and nine rebounds, finishing two points shy of tying his season/career high originally set at CSU Bakersfield on Jan. 28.
In addition to Hicks and Maxwell, Josh Greene also finished in double figures as the sophomore guard ended with 12 points and six rebounds.
Frankie Eteuati scored seven of CSUN's 20 bench points, connecting on three of four field goals, and one free throw, setting a new career high in the process.
Allen Jiles IV also made the most of his time on the floor, as he scored five straight points for CSUN shortly after he entered the game to set a new season high as well.
Folker finished with a game-high 28 points for UC Irvine.
Cal State Northridge will end its season on Wednesday, Feb. 29 at Cal State Fullerton (19-8, 10-4 BWC). Live stats, an internet radio broadcast, and in-game Twitter updates for the Matadors' season finale will be available at GoMatadors.com. Tipoff at Titan Gym is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.