Cal State Northridge Falls at UC Davis, 73-61
Box Score - Cal State Northridge @ UC Davis
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Davis, Calif. – If Cal State Northridge is going to make the eight-team Big West Tournament, its immediate goal is to catch UC Santa Barbara in the league standings.
At the start of the evening on Saturday, the Gauchos resided in eighth place, one game in front of the Matadors.
At the end of the evening, nothing had been resolved. A stalemate. Check back in two weeks when league competition begins again.
The Gauchos dropped a 67-49 decision at Cal Poly while CSUN lost a 73-61 decision at UC Davis in Big West Conference play.
Despite the double-digit loss to the Aggies, Cal State Northridge mounted several comebacks but just couldn't muster a sustained rally to keep a lead.
Down 20-9 with 12:44 left in the first half, the Matadors mounted a 16-2 rally to take a 25-22 lead at the 7:22 mark. UC Davis countered with a 17-0 run to take a 39-25 lead at the 1:33 mark.
Seven UC Davis three-pointers, including a 5-for-5 effort from behind the arc by Corey Hawkins propelled the Aggies to a 39-26 halftime. Hawkins accounted for 17 of his game-high 31 points in the first half.
After UCD added a quick field goal to take a 15-point lead (41-26, UCD's biggest lead of the game) with 18:44 to play, the momentum switched in favor of Cal State Northridge. A 15-0 run by the Matadors knotted the game at 41-41 with 15:54 left on the arena clock. Nine of the 15 points were scored by Stephan Hicks, who eventually finished the game with 17 points. Josh Greene added six points in CSUN's rapid rally to tie the game.
Now the attention turned again to UC Davis where they mounted another rally. A 10-2 run gave UC Davis a 51-43 lead with 11:58 to play.
Back came the Matadors with an 8-2 run in the next 2:26 to cut the Aggie lead to two points at 53-51.
Back came UC Davis with another rally. This time UC Davis made a 16-4 run to take a 69-55 lead with 4:08 remaining on the clock. From that point on, the Matadors could not cut the lead any lower than eleven points.
Final Score – UC Davis 73, Cal State Northridge 61.
If there was any silver lining to the defeat, CSUN didn't lose any ground to UC Santa Barbara. Still, head coach Bobby Braswell saw many opportunities that just slipped away.
"We came out flat for whatever reason," said Braswell. "We didn't start the game with the energy level that we needed, and thus we dug ourselves a big hole. Every time we tied the game or went ahead, they (UCD) just came right back at us and we let up. We just didn't respond."
Josh Greene earned the praise of Braswell for his intensity, desire and passion in such an important conference game. Greene ended the evening with 12 points (4-for-8 from three-point territory) along with eight assists in a 36-minute start.
"Josh Greene had a phenomenal game on both ends of the floor," said Braswell. "His passion and his energy level was the best I've seen. He showed up and displayed a lot of heart. I told the team that if more guys played with the passion that Josh displayed tonight, we would have won the game."
Greene was assigned to guard UCD's Ryan Sypkens, one of the nation's top three-point shooters and the all-time three-point specialist in Aggie history. Sypkens was held to only 4-for-11 shooting (3-for-10 from three-point territory).
"I wished everybody had the passion the way Josh played tonight," said Braswell. "He showed toughness and mental strength. He's a junior who has gone through the wars so you would expect that out of him. We have some other guys who have to show more leadership and passion than we showed tonight. They didn't give us what we needed. I'm not talking from an offensive point, but from their energy level. We need more guys to step up other than Josh."
Cal State Northridge fell to 13-14 overall and 4-11 in the Big West Conference. UC Davis is 11-13 overall and 7-6 in the conference.
Cal State Northridge will now take a breather from the rigors of league play to face Southern Utah in Cedar City next Saturday (2/23/13, 7:00 pm).
Matador Memo …
At evening's end, Cal State Northridge is 4-11 in Big West Conference play, one game back of eighth place UC Santa Barbara which is 4-9 … The top eight teams in the conference will compete in the Big West Tournament (March 14-16) … CSUN's final three conference games are at home (Feb. 28 vs Cal Poly, March 2 against UCSB, and March 7 against Hawai'i) … UCSB has five more conference games (two at home vs Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside, and three on the road at UC Riverside, Hawai'i and at Cal State Northridge) … Josh Greene's four three-pointers against UC Davis gives him 135 for his three-year career, sixth-best in school history … Greene's eight assists gives him 232 in his Matador history career, only three short of catching Jack Dyck (1973-75, 325) in tenth place in school history.