January 31, 2013

Matadors Lead Wire-To-Wire in 92-86 Upset at Cal State Fullerton

FULLERTON, Calif. -

Five Matadors scored in double figures as Cal State Northridge (11-11, 2-8 Big West) earned a hard-fought 92-86 win over the Cal State Fullerton Titans (11-10, 4-5 Big West) on Thursday night at Titan Gym. In Bobby Braswell's 500th game at Northridge, Matadors Josh Greene (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Stephen Maxwell (16 points, 11 rebounds) recorded double-doubles.

"This was a great team effort, probably our best 40 minutes of basketball in a long time," said Braswell. "We have won two of our last three and I feel like our team is starting to get back into the groove again. This is always a tough place to play in and win. Praise God that our guys didn't quit. Five double-figure scorers is huge."

Cal State Northridge scored the first four points of the game and never looked back. The Titans were able to tie the game on two occasions at 4-4 and 9-9, but could not get closer the rest of the way. Tre Hale-Edmerson scored 11 of his 17 points in the first half as the Matadors stormed to a 39-29 lead at halftime.

Brandon Perry scored 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting with three free throws and Lonnie Watson, earning the start in place of an injured Stephan Hicks, scored 11 points while adding four rebounds and an assist.

"Lonnie is a guy who has had limited minutes and missed a week of practice this week with the stomach flu," added Braswell. "Stephan went down and Lonnie stepped up tonight with big shots and free throws and came through defensively for us. That was big, we needed that."

The Matadors owned the battle on the glass, pulling down 47 rebounds (16 offensive) to Fullerton's 27. Four Northridge players also recorded a block and the team was credited with 17 assists on 33 made baskets.

After a quick layup by Maxwell to open the second half, the Titans began to mount a run to pull the margin closer. A fastbreak layup for Kwame Vaughn cut the Northridge lead to 48-44 with 14:49 to play. Fullerton got as close as three points at 61-58 with 10:38 to play before a 7-0 run pushed the game to 10 points.

A three-pointer by Watson with 3:58 left put the Matadors ahead 77-64 and turned the remainder of the game into a free-throw display. Northridge's final 15 points of the contest came from the charity stripe, including nine for Greene.

The Titans were led in scoring by Vaughn, who poured in 28 in a losing effort. D.J. Seeley added 22 points and Sammy Yeager had 21 for Fullerton.

Collectively, the Matadors shot 33-of-62 from the field for 53.2% and made 23-of-33 free throws (69.7%). Fullerton went 30-of-63 from the floor (47.6%) and 17-of-24 at the line (70.8%).

The Matadors conclude their four-game road trip on Saturday night at UC Riverside. Tipoff from the Student Rec Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.