By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Northridge, Calif. – This was a game that will linger like a bad case of the flu.
The visiting UC Riverside Highlanders entered Thursday night's game against Cal State Northridge with a 3-10 record and a home conference loss last week to open Big West competition.
The lackluster record didn't deter UCR. The Highlanders proved to be unwelcome guests on CSUN's home court, the Matadome. For the third straight season, UC Riverside defeated the Matadors on CSUN's home floor in a men's basketball conference game on Thursday night.
This year, UCR's Chris Patton scored on a layup with eleven seconds to play to propel the Highlanders to a 65-64 victory over Cal State Northridge.
Patton, a 6-foot-10 junior center from Melbourne, Australia, proved to be nearly unstoppable for the Highlanders who increased their season record to 4-10 overall and 1-1 in league competition. Patton scored a career-high 19 points (8-for-10 from the floor).
Cal State Northridge held a 59-56 lead with 6:11 remaining in the game, but Patton proved to be UCR's MVP of the game. Patton scored all of UCR's nine points in the final 5:21 of the game while CSUN was held to five points.
Matador head coach Bobby Braswell gave full credit to UCR's effort.
"They (UCR) controlled the tempo and the physicality of the game," said Braswell. "We had a bad week of practice and got what we deserved."
Stephen Maxwell led the Matadors with 16 points (7-for-11 from the floor) along with six rebounds and three steals. Stephan Hicks checked in with 14 points and seven rebounds. Josh Greene added 13 points and Trevone Williams had ten points.
Fifty-two of UCR's 65 points were in the paint.
The score was tied 13 times in the game with eight lead changes.
The loss dropped Cal State Northridge 9-5 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
Friday, the team will return to practice in preparation for Saturday's game (1/5/13) against Cal State Fullerton, one of top contending teams in the Big West Conference. Tipoff is slated for 7:05 pm.
"We're a very young team, and we're still trying to figure out our way a little bit," said Braswell.