Cal State Northridge Hosts UC Riverside In Conference Home Opener
Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside will meet in a Big West Conference game on Thursday, January 3, at 7:05 pm at The Matadome ... The Highlanders have won the last two games on CSUN's home court, including a 63-61 verdict last year (2/22/12) ... Previous to the last two games, CSUN had won the last six games against the Highlanders at The Matadome.
CSUN has tallied only 18 turnovers in the last two games (nine each in games at Utah and Hawai'i) ... CSUN remains atop the Big West Conference in steals (9.5 spg) ... In seven games, CSUN has collected ten or more steals including a season-high 15 at USD (11/15/12) ... The Matadors are averaging 80.5 ppg, second--best in the BWC ... In four games, CSUN has scored 90 or more points, including a season-high 120 points vs Vanguard (12/5/12) ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) has 109 career three-pointers, only eight fewer than Deon Tresvant (117, 2007-09) in tenth place in the school record book ... CSUN won its ninth game (76-71 at Utah) of the year on Dec. 21, 2012, a winning feat the basketball program has not accomplished this quick in the 55-year history of Matador basketball ... CSUN's 76-71 victory at Utah (12/21/12) was the team's first victory over a Pac-12 school since Nov. 20, 2005 when the Matadors recorded a 81-76 overtime verdict at USC ... The Matadors were down 21 points, 49-28, at halftime ... It was the biggest come-from-behind victory for Bobby Braswell in his 17 seasons as head coach at CSUN ... The 6-0 start to the 2012-13 season was the best in school history since CSUN began NCAA Division I play in 1990-91, and the best overall start since the 1981-82 campaign.
Depth has been a major strength for CSUN in 2012-13 ... While CSUN's five starters (Josh Greene, Allan Guei, Tre Hale-Edmerson, Stephan Hicks, and Stephen Maxwell) are averaging 18 minutes or more per contest, four reserve players are averaging 14 minutes or better per game ... Landon Drew (18.8 mpg, 6-1, 175, Freshman, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), Brandon Perry (16.8 mpg, 6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca), Trevone Williams (15.8 mpg, 6-6, 225, RS Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) and Donovan Johnson (14.5 mpg, 6-3, 185, Freshman, G/F, Los Angeles, Ca) are all seeing extensive action ... Drew has scored in double figures in four of the last six games including a season-high 19 points at Utah (12/21/12) ... Drew has hit a team-leading .405 (15-for-37) from three-point territory which also ranks seventh-best in the Big West Conference ... Drew is third-best in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.3 ... Perry is averaging 7.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game ... Perry's best game of the year included a 22-point (7-for-8 from the floor), five block effort vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) ... Perry leads the team in blocks (14, 1.1 bpg, #7 in the BWC) ... Williams has scored in double figures in three of the last five games including a season-high 13 points vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) along with a season-high six rebounds ... Williams has hit 16-of-29 shots (.552) from the floor in the last five games ... Johnson scored a team-high 19 points in the season opener against Pepperdine (11/9/12) ... And another reserve, Morgan Tilford (6-7, 200, Sophomore, Forward, Lexington, Ky) is averaging 8.7 minutes played ... Tilford scored a season-high nine points vs Vanguard (12/5/12), and a season-high five rebounds vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12).
Stephan Hicks (6-7, 220, RS Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca) is enjoying an MVP-type season ... Hicks currently leads CSUN in scoring (18.4 ppg, #2 in the Big West Conference), rebounding (8.5 rpg, #3 in the BWC), field goal percentge (.535, #4 in the BWC), field goals (85), field goal attempts (159), and steals (23, 1.8 spg, #3 in the BWC) ... By the time the 2012-13 season ends (17 more league games, at least one BWC Tournament game), Hicks could end the year with approximately 570 points which would rank fifth-best for a single season in school history ... Hicks, who has been named Big West Player of the Week twice this year, has five double-doubles this year, and ten over the last two seasons ... Hicks currently has 661 career points, and projecting his 18.4 ppg over the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign, Hicks could finish the year with a two-year total of 992 points ... Only two players in the 55-year history of Matador basketball have ever scored 1,000 or more points in their first two seasons; Jim Malkin, who scored 1,030 points in his first two seasons (1959-60 & 1960-61) and Ollie Carter, who tallied 1,003 points (1964-65, 1965-66) ... Only 15 players in school history have scored 1,000 or more points during their Matador careers ... Three times this year, Hicks has scored 25 points, one point short of his career-best set last year at Cal State Bakersfield (1/28/12) ... Hicks has scored in double figures in all 13 games ... Hicks has led the team in scoring in nine games, and the team's leading rebounder in eight games ... Hicks opened his CSUN career in 2011-12 season with 22 points and 17 rebounds at Hawai'i (11/14/11) and followed it up with 25 points and eight rebounds against the Rainbow Warriors (12/29/12) ... Hicks hit 9-of-10 shots at USD (11/15/12), third-best effort in CSUN history for a single game ... Hicks produced a career-best seven steals at USD (11/15/12), fifth-best for a single contest in CSUN history.
Last year, CSUN employed 17 different lineups ... This year through 13 games, CSUN has been consistent with the SAME starting lineup of Allan Guei (5-9, 160, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and the front line of Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca), Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodland Hills, Ca) and Tre Hale-Edmerson (6-9, 215, Freshman, F/C, Sheridan, Or).
The Matadome, home to the Cal State Northridge men's and women's basketball programs, has undergone significant renovations since the conclusion of the 2011-12 campaign ... A new floor, air conditioning, and visual upgrades completed this past summer have given the Matadome its first siginificant makeover in a decade ... Last season, new baskets and shot clocks were installed for basketball games as well as new press row tables, video display boards, a scoreboard above center court, and wall graphics ... With a brand new floor and a redesigned court, the Matadome received a dramatic overhaul just in time for the 51st anniversary of the first home game played in the facility this November ... Fans will notice wall graphics on the east end of the Matadome commemorating Cal State Northridge's post-season successes and a mural of fans cheering on the Matadors ... In addition, a new public address system has been installed ... New renovations also allow for the expanded use of live video for all competitions.
Which NCAA Division I basketball team is the youngest in the country? ... Look no further than Cal State Northridge ... In a nationwide survey conducted by the Naval Academy media relations office, in terms of playing experience, the Matadors have 17 active players with only eleven years of collegiate basketball experience, an average of 0.65 years per player ... Three of the nation's least experienced teams hail from the Big West Conference ... Following the average of 0.65 years per player by Cal State Northridge, Dartmouth is second nationally at 0.73 years per year, followed by Navy (0.76 years), UC Santa Barbara (0.78 years) and UC Riverside (0.79 years) ... Their are NO seniors on the 17-man Cal State Northridge active roster ... Their are ONLY three juniors ... The rest of the Matador squad is either freshmen (seven) or sophomores (seven).
UC Riverside is 3-10 and 0-1 in the Big West Conference ... Chris Harriel and Chris Patton lead the team in scoring at 10.7 and 10.2 ppg, respectively ... Josh Fox has a team-leading 6.2 rebounds per game.
Cal State Northridge holds a 36-31 advantage over UC Riverside ... The Matadors had won 12 straight games over UCR, but
the Highlanders have won three of the last four games, including a 63-61 decision last year (2/22/12) at The Matadome.
Only 13 games into the 2012-13 season, and already the Matador record book has undergone change ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) set a school record with 33 straight free throws over a seven game span, to break the previous record of 32 set by Markus Carr during the 2000-01 season ... Greene's 14-for-14 free throw effort in the 92-76 victory over Tulsa (11/17/12) was second-best for a single game in school history ... Greene dished out 13 assists against Eastern Washington (11/12/12), a career-best and sixth-best for a single game in school history ... Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca) also added his name to the CSUN record book with a 9-for-10 shooting effort at San Diego (11/15/12) ... That stat proved to be the third-best effort in Matador history for a single game ... Hicks produced a career-best seven steals at San Diego (11/15/12), fifth-best for a single contest in CSUN history ... Brandon Perry's (6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca) five blocked shots vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) is second-best for a single game in school history.
Cal State Northridge has been picked to finish eighth in the annual Big West Conference pre-season media poll ... The Matadors generated 83 points ... Long Beach State, the defending league regular season and league tournament champion, earned 13 first place votes and 194 points to emerge as the league favorite in 2012-13 ... The 49ers outdistanced Cal State Fullerton, which accumulated 164 points, and third place UC Irvine's 153 points ... The 21-member media panel tabbed Big West member Hawai'i for fourth place with 132 points followed by UC Santa Barbara in fifth place (129 points) ... Pacific was picked for sixth place (113 points) followed by Cal Poly (100 points), Cal State Northridge (83 points), UC Davis (44 points) and UC Riverside (43 points) ... CSUN's Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca), who gained Big West Freshman of the Year honors in 2011-12 with a 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game average, has been named to the pre-season media all-conference team ... Also named to the pre-season team were James Ennis (Long Beach State), Vander Joaquim (Hawai'i), D.J. Seeley (Cal State Fullerton), Kwame Vaughn (Cal State Fullerton) and Michael Wilder (UC Irvine).
CSUN leads the Big West Conference in steals (9.46 spg) ... CSUN is second in the league in scoring (80.5 ppg, #17 in the nation), free throw percentage (.754, #27 in the nation) and third in assists (16.23 apg) ... Two CSUN players (Allan Guei, Ilya Ilyayev) speak foreign languages ... Guei was born in Italy, but spent his early childhood in the Ivory Coast where he learned and spoke French ... Guei moved to the United States at age nine where he had to learn a second language, English ... Ilyayev was born in Moscow, Russia ... Ilyayev speaks fluent Russian ... Like Guei, Ilyayev had to learn English when he moved to the United States at age four ... Ilyayev holds dual citizenship ... CSUN started the year, 6-0, its best start since CSUN moved to the NCAA Division I level, and its best overall start since the 1981-82 campaign.
CSUN set a wrecking ball to the record book with its 120-69 victory over Vanguard (12/5/12) ... The 120 points scored by CSUN were the third-most in school history ... The 32 assists were third-best for a single game in Matador history ...The .672 shooting percentage (45-for-67) was fifth-best for a single game in he 55-year history of Matador basketball ... The 51-point margin of victory was the seventh-largest in school history ... The 45 field goals scored were ninth-best for a single game in Matador history ... The seven blocks against Vanguard were ninth-best in school history.