By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Provo, Utah – The Cal State Northridge vs Brigham Young basketball contest had all the ingredients of an NCAA Tournament affair.
Two excellent basketball teams competed with reckless abandon from start-to-finish. Neither team refused to surrender. A sellout crowd of 20,900 (the largest crowd to witness a Matador game in school history) at BYU's Marriott Center yelled to the top of their lungs on a Saturday night in a game that will be remembered for a long, long time.
If you bought a ticket to the game, you got your money's worth and much, much more.
The Matadors battled back from a 46-40 halftime deficit and a 66-55 deficit with 9:47 to play to take a 74-73 lead with 4:01 to play. But a 14-1 run in the final 3:44 of the contest proved to be CSUN's downfall, 87-75, to end the Matador's six game winning streak to start the 2012-13 season.
The final point margin was not indicative of how close and competitive this game played out.
Head coach Bobby Braswell couldn't fault the effort of the Matadors. The gritty group of CSUN players fought from the opening tipoff to the very end.
"This was a great environment, a great atmosphere, a really good basketball game," said Braswell. "We came out on the short end of the scoreboard, but I was really proud of the guys. They fought back after being down. We showed a lot of heart and poise. This was a great learning opportunity for us."
Cal State Northridge maintained a slim lead through much of the first half. Eight times during the first half the Matadors built a four-point lead.
Brigham Young tied the game, 34-34, with 5:02 left on the first half clock, and went on a 12-6 run to close the first half with a 46-40 lead.
Cal State Northridge went on a 19-7 run to cut an eleven-point BYU lead (66-55, 9:47) into a 74-73 CSUN lead with 4:01 to play. The comeback was fueled by a 7-0 run, and aided by two three-pointers from Josh Greene, five points from Stephan Hicks and four points from Stephen Maxwell.
But a 14-1 run by the Cougars in the final 3:44 of the game doomed the Matadors.
Final Score – Brigham Young (BYU) 87, Cal State Northridge 75.
Tyler Haws proved to be BYU's hero in the Cougar's final run (14-1). Haws scored ten of BYU's final 14 points. Haws finished with a game-high 32 points (12-for-12 from the free throw line).
"We didn't executive well down the stretch," said Braswell. "We didn't defend like we should have. This was really a tough environment. You never want to glorify a loss, but we showed a lot of toughness. There are some things we can learn from this."
Stephan Hicks led the Matadors with a team-high 25 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Stephen Maxwell added 17 points and five rebounds. Josh Greene added 13 points.
Trevone Williams came off the bench to score six points along with six rebounds in 17 minutes. Tre Hale-Edmerson dished out five assists.
Matador Memo …
Josh Greene's hit 2-of-2 free throws to run his consecutive streak to 31, one short of the school record set by Markus Carr in 2000-01 … The Matadors (6-1) will now prepare for Wednesday's game (Nov. 28, 9:00 pm) at UCLA … The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks … The game will also be broadcast on internet radio with Bill Courtland and Alan Zinsmeister on gomatdors.com