GAME #28 (Big West Game #16):
Northridge Matadors (7-20, 3-12 Big West) at Cal State Fullerton Titans (19-8, 10-4 Big West)
Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 - 7:05 p.m. PST
Titan Gym (4,000) - Fullerton, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Bill Courtland - PBP, Alan Zinsmeister - Analyst)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
CSUN ENDS 2011-12 CAMPAIGN AT CAL STATE FULLERTON
Defeated by two points on a last-second layup by Cal State Fullerton guard Kwame Vaughn in its last meeting, Cal State Northridge will look to avenge that home loss, end the Titans' 10-game home win streak, and conclude the 2011-12 season in victorious fashion Wednesday evening inside Titan Gym. Live stats, an internet radio broadcast, and in-game Twitter updates for CSUN's season finale are available at GoMatadors.com.
All-Time Series Record Against Cal State Fullerton: Northridge trails 29-36
Home Record: 13-14
Away Record: 13-19
Neutral Record: 3-3
This Season's Result: Cal State Fullerton 70, at Northridge 68 (1/26/12)
Last Season's Results: at Northridge 89, Cal State Fullerton 65 (1/5/11), Northridge 70, at Cal State Fullerton 68 (2/10/11), and Northridge 75, vs. Cal State Fullerton 54 (3/10/11)
Last Northridge Road Win at Cal State Fullerton: Northridge 70, at Cal State Fullerton 68 (2/10/11)
Series Streak: Cal State Fullerton +1
A CLOSER LOOK AT CAL STATE FULLERTON
Victorious in its last 10 straight home games, the 20th-longest, current home court win streak in the nation, the Cal State Fullerton Titans will face a Cal State Northridge team that will compete in its final game of the season Wednesday night.
The Matadors possessed a three-game win streak over the Titans until Kwame Vaughn's last-second layup gave Fullerton a 70-68 win in Northridge last month, defeating CSUN in come-from-behind fashion inside the Matadome for only the second time in the last nine years. In that game, Northridge outshot Fullerton from the free throw line and behind the arc, but finished with three fewer field goals compared to the Titans. Wednesday's return match will take place at Titan Gym, a facility that Northridge has experienced a high level of success in recent years as the Matadors have earned victories in their last four trips to Fullerton.
Led by junior guard D.J. Seeley with 16.3 ppg, five Titans are averaging 10 or more points for Fullerton head coach Bob Burton this season. In addition to Seeley, junior guard Kwame Vaughn (15.4 ppg), sophomore guard Isiah Umipig (13.9), and senior forwards Omondi Amoke (11.6) and Orane Chin are collectively responsible for 86 percent of Fullerton's offense this season, as the Titans enter Wednesday's contest averaging a conference-high 78.3 ppg. In addition to leading the conference in scoring, Fullerton also possesses the top field goal percentage (48.6 percent) and three-point field goal percentage (41.4 3FG percent) in the Big West.
Last Wednesday's game against UC Riverside was the final appearance in a Northridge uniform for three members of the Matador men's basketball team. In addition to fifth-year senior Michael Lizarraga, who was granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA earlier this season, Ari Feldman, John Hayward-Mayhew, and Vinnie McGhee were honored for their dedication and contributions to the Cal State Northridge men's basketball program.
LEAP DAY LEDGER
Wednesday's game at Cal State Fullerton is the fourth occasion in the program's history that the Matadors will compete on a leap day. CSUN's first-ever game played on Feb. 29 took place at home, against Cal State Fullerton, during the 1963-64 season. That evening, the Matadors defeated the Titans 117-93.
In its other two games, the Matadors were defeated by UC Santa Barbara 69-67 in 1972, and by Southern Utah 89-75 20 years later.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH
Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State have forced their respective opponents to commit 418 turnovers this season, a conference-high figure. Even though the Matadors and 49ers have matching totals, Long Beach has competed in one more game compared to Northridge this season.
ON FIRE IN FEBRUARY
Josh Greene has scored 20 or more points in four of CSUN's last seven games, finished as the Matadors' leading scorer in six of their last eight, and is averaging 17.6 points per game this month.
FIVE TIMES THE TROUBLE
Led by Josh Greene with 23 points, five Matadors finished in double figures to help Northridge earn a 94-81 home victory over the Cal Poly Mustangs. In addition to Greene, Vinnie McGhee added a season-high 19 points, with Stephen Maxwell (16), Michael Lizarraga (season-high 15), and Stephan Hicks (13) rounding out the quintet of double-digit scorers.
This is the second time that Northridge had five or more players finish with 10 or more points this season. In the Matadors' 99-58 win over Pacifica (12/17/11), Hicks (18), Greene (15), Maxwell (12), Allan Guei (11), Lizarraga (10), and Aqeel Quinn (10) finished in double figures.
SAINT MARY'S CANCELS LATE-SEASON GAME AGAINST NORTHRIDGE
The Saint Mary's men's basketball game against Cal State Northridge has been cancelled according to the Gaels Athletic Department, the official announcement was made last Thursday afternoon. The March 9 game was recently added and, if played, could have given the Gaels more games than the allowable NCAA limit.
NORTHRIDGE VS. THE NATION
The most successful Big West team at the free throw line this season, Northridge is ranked No. 18 in the nation (through games played on Feb. 19) with its 75.5 free throw percentage. Weber St. leads all Division I teams with its 81.2 percentage.
JUST GIVE HIM THE POINTS
Successful in 59 of 71 trips to the line this season, Josh Greene is ranked No. 3 the Big West Conference with his 83.1 free throw percentage.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
In addition to leading all Big West freshman with four double-doubles, Stephan Hicks also leads all first-year players with five 20-point games, and six 10-rebound games. Hicks scored 20 or more points at Hawai'i (22 pts., 11/14/11), at Boise State (23, 11/19/11), vs. San Diego Christian (20, 11/22/11), at CSU Bakersfield (career-high 26, 1/28/12), and at UC Irvine (24, 2/25/12).
The redshirt freshman grabbed 10 or more boards at Hawai'i (17 reb.), vs. Pacifica (10, 12/17/11), Pacific (10, 1/12/12), Cal State Fullerton (10, 1/26/12), at Long Beach State (10, 2/4/12), and against Fresno State (12, 2/18/12).
MUSTANGS TAMED BY CSUN OFFENSE
Cal State Northridge recorded the highest point total of any Cal Poly opponent in the last three seasons, and avenged its blowout loss suffered last month in San Luis Obispo by scoring 94 points against the Big West's No. 1 defense in its 94-81 win on Feb. 15. Prior to that matchup, the Mustangs allowed a conference-low 59.3 points per game.
CLEANING THE GLASS
In addition to averaging 34.9 rebounds per game, Northridge leads all Big West teams with its 14.07 offensive rebounds per game average. Stephen Maxwell and Stephan Hicks are ranked No. 4 and No. 5 in the conference respectively, and lead the Matadors with 2.95 and 2.81 o/rpg.
OPPONENTS BECOMING TEAMMATES - ON THE LINE
Last week, Northridge head coach Bobby Braswell and his staff teamed up with the Black Coaches and Administrators and On the Line, a national prostate cancer awareness and education campaign during Black History Month to raise awareness of prostate cancer among African American men. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, making prostate cancer more prevalent than breast cancer. African Americans are at an even greater risk, as one in five will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Over 100 NCAA Division I African American men's basketball head coaches showed their support from Feb. 18-26 as part of Statement Week, visit www.ONTHELINE.com to show your support for this cause and to obtain additional information about prostate cancer, risk factors, screening, diagnosis, and treatment options.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS
Ranked No. 2 on the team with 6.1 rebounds per game, Stephen Maxwell has been one of the Matadors' top rebounders throughout the entire season. The freshman forward has recorded four 10-rebound games - he finished with 11 boards vs. CSU Bakersfield (11/30/11), at Washington (12/22/11), vs. Fresno State (2/18/12), and set a new career/season high with 12 rebounds collected against Cal Poly (2/15/12). Maxwell is also ranked ninth in the Big West with his 6.1 rpg average, and No. 5 with 2.95 offensive rebounds per game.
REWRITING THE RECORD BOOKS
Currently shooting 75.5 percent from the free throw line this season, this year's Matador men's basketball team is on pace to record the highest percentage in the program's history. The 1961-62 Matadors occupy first place all-time with its 73.6 percent mark (454-for-617) from the line.
THE FIRST OF MANY
Stephan Hicks will add his name to CSUN's single-season record books for the first time in his collegiate career with his next free throw made. Brian Heinle (2000-01) and Willie Galick (2009-10) are currently tied for ninth place with 136 free throws made in their respective seasons. Andre Chevalier (1993-94) ranks eighth with 137 free throws made.
NO SHOT FOR YOU!
If sophomore forward Frankie Eteuati blocks another two shots, he will earn a 10th-place spot alongside Brian Heinle and Cliff Higgins with 27 blocks in a single season. Heinle recorded his total during the 1999-2000 season, with Higgins swatting his shots throughout the 1982-83 campaign.
SINGLE SEASON RAINMAKER
With 55 three-point field goals to his credit this season, Josh Greene can also add his name to the Northridge single-season record books by making another two shots from behind the arc. Doing so will tie Greene with Gerald Rhoden (1996-97), Ian Boylan (2002-03), and Mike Efevberha (2005-06) in eighth place with 57 three-point field goals.
THE MATADORS' TWO FROM THREE
Collectively responsible for eight of the Matadors' nine three-point field goals, Josh Greene and Vinnie McGhee helped CSUN come within 1.9 seconds of earning the team's second straight road victory against the Pacific Tigers on Feb. 11. Greene set a new season high by making five of his seven shots from three, with McGhee tying his season high for the seventh time with his three baskets from long range. In addition to his efforts at Pacific, McGhee has also made three from three at USC (11/11/11), vs. San Diego Christian (11/22/11), at Santa Clara (12/3/11), against Pacifica (12/17/11), Cal State Fullerton (1/26/12), and at UC Davis (2/9/12).
In the Matadors' following game against Cal Poly, McGhee continued his torrid shooting from behind the arc by setting a new season high, in addition to tying his career high with five three-point field goals made.
GREENE MAKES OPPONENTS SEE RED
Stephan Hicks in not the only Matador who has scored 20 or more points numerous times this season as Josh Greene has also recorded five 20-point games this season. Of those five, four were earned within a two-week timespan earlier this month. Greene scored a career-high 26 points at Long Beach State (2/4/12), 21 at UC Davis (2/9/12), 23 vs. Cal Poly (2/15/12), and 20 vs. Fresno State (2/18/12). Greene's other 20-point performance took place last November vs. San Diego Christian (11/22/11).
MAKING THE MOST OF THEIR MINUTES
Last Saturday at UC Irvine, Frankie Eteuati set a new career high by scoring seven points in his 14 minutes played. Allen Jiles IV also recorded one of his best stat lines as a Matador as he made both of his shots from the field, and was successful in his only trip to the free throw line to finish with a season-high five points. Combined, Eteuati and Jiles scored 12 of CSUN's 20 bench points.
DAMAGE FROM DOWNTOWN
Bolstered by the shooting performances of Josh Greene and Vinnie McGhee, Cal State Northridge recorded a season-high 64.3 three-point percentage on Feb. 11, at Pacific. In addition to Greene (5-for-7) and McGhee (3-for-5), John Hayward-Mayhew recorded CSUN's other basket from three in his only attempt of the night. Including Stephan Hicks who missed his only shot from long range, the Matadors shot 9-of-14 from three.
DROPPING DIMES ALL OVER THE COURT
With a sizable contingent of family and friends in attendance, Vinnie McGhee set a new career high at Pacific by earning nine of CSUN's 15 assists. In his next game against Cal Poly, on Feb. 15, McGhee earned half of the Matadors' 14 assists. McGhee is currently No. 4 in the conference with his 3.41 assists per game average.
In front of a standing-room only crowd, 1,813 fans packed the Matadome to watch Northridge compete against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Feb. 2. That audience fell only 38 fans short of setting a new all-time, reduced capacity attendance record. On Feb. 17, 2001, a crowd of 1,850 watched Cal State Northridge defeat Northern Arizona 78-72.
Originally constructed with a capacity of 5,000 people at the start of the 1962-63 season, the Matadome's seating was reduced to its current 1,600 seat configuration in 1999 due to damage sustained in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
NOTHING BUT NET
On Saturday, Jan. 28, at CSU Bakersfield, the Matadors shot a season-high 61.0 percent by making 25-of-41 shots against the Roadrunners. This is the highest field goal percentage recorded by Northridge since its appearance at the 2010 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. In CSUN's 88-66 victory over DePaul, the Matadors made 34-of-56 shots, and finished with a 60.7 field goal percentage.
THEIR NAME IS ON THE LIST
Earning a split of their season series against CSU Bakersfield with their 76-68 win on Jan. 28, the Matadors also handed the Roadrunners the 17th loss in their program's history at the Icardo Center. Completed in 1989, Bakersfield possesses a 173-17 all-time record at the Icardo Center as of Feb. 21. Including their most recent victory over the Roadrunners, the Matadors are responsible for two of those 17 losses suffered by Bakersfield in its on-campus facility.
NOW YOU SEE IT... NOW YOU DON'T
Led by Vinnie McGhee with 34, Cal State Northridge has eight players who have recorded 10 or more steals this season. Other Matadors with double-digit totals include Stephan Hicks (25), Josh Greene (22), Stephen Maxwell (17), Aqeel Quinn (15), Allan Guei (13), Michael Lizarraga (12), and Ari Feldman (10).
With 175 steals, the Matadors are ranked No. 2 in the Big West with their 6.48 steals per game average.
SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE
Vinnie McGhee is ranked No. 2 in the Big West (conference games only) with his 2.35 assist-to-turnover ratio. McGhee has 61 assists, against 26 turnovers, in his 15 conference games played.
CSUN SCORING STREAKS
Redshirt freshman Stephan Hicks recorded double-digit point totals in the first 16 games of the season, a streak that was snapped in his first visit to Cal Poly on Jan. 21. This is the third-longest, regular season, double-digit scoring streak by a Matador during Bobby Braswell's 16-year tenure as head coach.
Recording double figures in the last two games of the 1999-2000 season, Brian Heinle scored 10 or more points in all 32 regular season games the following season to end his Northridge career with double-digit points in his final 34 games as a Matador. After Heinle, Ian Boylan (2002-03 season) is second with 18, followed by Hicks, Lenny Daniel and Rashaun McLemore. Daniel and McLemore each finished with double-digit totals in 14 straight games during the 2010-11 campaign.
THAT'S THE GUEI TO GET YOUR TEAMMATES INVOLVED
Freshman Allan Guei is ranked No. 3 on the team with 51 assists, trailing only Vinnie McGhee and Josh Greene for the top spot. McGhee leads the team with 94 assists, with Greene trailing with his total of 77.
YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION
Stephan Hicks has provided a consistent level of production for Cal State Northridge as a redshirt freshman. He had a torrid start to his career with three 20-point efforts in the first four games, and set a new career high by scoring 26 points at CSU Bakersfield on Jan. 28. Hicks has scored in double figures in 23 of 27 games, and has led the Matadors in scoring on 15 occasions. The 6-5 swingman ranks No. 6 in the Big West in scoring (15.4 ppg), No. 3 in rebounding (7.2 rpg), and leads all freshmen with five double-doubles. Hicks is also the Big West's sixth-most accurate free throw shooter, connecting on 81.3 percent (135-of-166) of his opportunities from the line.
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
CSUN's Stephan Hicks and UC Santa Barbara's James Nunnally both had their double-digit scoring streaks stopped in their respective games on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Cal Poly, and at home against Long Beach State. The only players to score 10 or more points in every contest this season prior entering the round of Big West games scheduled on Jan. 21, Hicks ended that day's action with eight points scored against the Mustangs, with Nunnally finishing with five against the 49ers.
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE
Northridge possesses a conference-high 75.5 free throw percentage (437-for-579), comfortably ahead of No. 2 Pacific's 69.8 percent free throw figure. Led by Josh Greene (59-for-71, 83.1 percent) and Aqeel Quinn (49-for-59, 83.1 percent), Allen Guei (24-for-29, 82.8 percent) and Stephan Hicks (135-for-166, 81.3 percent) are the only Matadors who have made 10 free throws, and are shooting 80 percent or higher from the free throw line. If successful in his next two attempts, Davon Potts will join that group as he is a perfect 8-for-8 from the line.
IT'S BETTER TO RECEIVE THAN GIVE...
Cal State Northridge is forcing its opponents to commit 15.5 turnovers per game, the highest average in the conference. The Matadors are also ranked No. 2 in the Big West with their +1.59 turnover margin.
... OR IS IT BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE?
Tying his season high with six assists earned against Long Beach State on Jan. 7, Allan Guei was responsible for nearly half of the 13 assists the Matadors recorded that game. This was the third time in his brief collegiate career that Guei collected six assists, the first two occasions also took place inside the Matadome against San Diego Christian (11/22/11) and Pacifica (12/17/11).
THREE TIMES THE TROUBLE
Josh Greene is building a reputation as one of the most dangerous three-point threats in the Big West. Leading all Matadors (min. 10 3FGM) with his 35.7 three-point shooting percentage (55-for-154), Greene and Vinnie McGhee are the only two Matadors who have made 30 or more baskets from behind the arc this season. McGhee's 29.4 percentage (48-for-163) is the second-highest on the team, with Aqeel Quinn (20-of-77) rounding out CSUN's top three from three with his 26.0 three-point percentage.
ROOM FOR ONE MORE?
John Hayward-Mayhew (8-for-20, 40 percent) is only two field goals shy from becoming the sixth Matador with 10 or more three-point field goals made. In addition to Greene, McGhee, and Quinn, Stephan Hicks and Ari Feldman have made 14 and 10 baskets respectively from three.
A PERFECT 10
Successful in all four of his field goal attempts at CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, Jan. 28, Ari Feldman tied his season/career high with 10 points for the third time this season. Feldman also finished with 10 points for CSUN at Hawai'i (11/14/11), and against San Diego Christian (11/22/11).
The Cal State Northridge men's basketball program announced that Michael Lizarraga has been granted a season of competition waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible to play for the Matadors for the final 20 games of the 2011-12 season beginning Dec. 17 against Pacifica College.
Lizarraga, a 6-7 forward from Dixon, Calif., averaged 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds while playing in 79 games during his Matador career which began in 2007-08. As a senior in 2010-11, he appeared in a career-high 32 games, starting 10, while averaging a career-high 5.9 points per game and shooting 52.2% from the floor. He finished the season as the teams' second leading rebounder at 4.2 rebounds per game as the Matadors advanced to the Big West Tournament semifinals.
Lizarraga was awarded a special Inspirational Award by the Big West Conference head coaches as the nation's only deaf NCAA Division I men's basketball student-athlete following the 2010-11 season.
A YOUNG MAN'S GAME
The youngest Division I team in the nation, the 19 players on CSUN's roster possess a combined 13 years of previous collegiate experience for an average of 0.68 years per player. Another Big West counterpart, UC Irvine, ranks second with 0.69 years of average experience, with Navy completing the top three with an average of 0.70 years. The 19-man Matador roster has only four seniors, and zero juniors, with the remaining positions filled by seven freshmen, six sophomores, and two redshirt freshmen.
EARLY SIGNING SUCCESS
During the early signing period in November, Brandon Perry and Donovan Johnson signed national letters of intent, and are committed to playing for Cal State Northridge next season. Perry, a 6-6 forward, played a pivotal role in helping Taft High School earn its spot in the Los Angeles City championships during the 2010-11 season. Ranked by many publications as one of the top 150 players in the country, Perry helped Taft earn a 29-3 record and a perfect 10-0 mark in the West Valley League as a junior last season.
A 6-3 guard hailing from Palisades High School, Johnson averaged 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and steals per game throughout the 2010-11 season to gain Los Angeles All-City and Western League Most Valuable Player accolades. As a junior, Johnson scored in double figures in 28 of the team's 32 games, highlighted by his season-high 30-point effort against Westchester High School.
ALWAYS A HOME GAME
During the past four seasons, 32 games involving Northridge basketball have been featured prominently on television. During CSUN's march to the NCAA Tournament during the 2008-09 season, Matador games were televised a school-record nine times. Fans of Matador men's basketball had the opportunity to see their team compete in five televised broadcasts, on four different networks throughout the 2011-12 season.
Featured nationally by ESPN on Nov. 15, 2011, at Hawai'i, the Matadors also made two Fox Sports Prime Ticket appearances on Jan. 21, 2012, at Cal Poly, and Feb. 25 at UC Irvine. Northridge also made back-to-back television appearances on Feb. 4 and Feb. 9 on Fox Sports West at Long Beach State, and at UC Davis on Comcast SportsNet California.