CSUN Scores Dramatic Overtime Win (80-78) at First Place UC Santa Barbara

Complete Box Score - CSUN @ UC Santa Barbara

By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications

Santa Barbara, Calif. –
The roaring cheer could be heard north to Lompoc and Santa Maria and as far south as the CSUN campus.

The cheers sifted from the Cal State Northridge locker room shortly after the Matadors scored a highly dramatic 80-78 overtime victory at first place UC Santa Barbara in a Big West Conference men's basketball game on Saturday afternoon at the Thunderdome.

The CSUN heroes were many. That included Stephen Maxwell's short jumper in the paint with .01 seconds on the clock in overtime.

After a UCSB timeout, the Gauchos tried a length-of-the court pass that sailed into the hands of a Gaucho player. The tip-in hit the rim but dropped to the floor.

Matadors Win … Matadors Win …. Matadors Win !!!

Final Score in overtime … Cal State Northridge 80, UC Santa Barbara 78

"A team win," head coach Reggie Theus said. "We had the will to win and an attitude to compete. That's what we talked about before the game. We talked about hard work wins over talent. The will to win conquers all. That's what we had tonight. We never stopped. We were down the entire game. This was a tough, physical game but we never gave up. I am just so happy for our guys. They play hard every night."

Maxwell ended the evening with his league-leading 12th double-double of the season; 17 points and 12 rebounds. Josh Greene continued his strong senior play with 23 points, four assists and two steals. Ben Vozzola, who entered the game only averaging two points per game, had a season-high with 17 points (6-for-8 from the floor, 5-for-6 from three-point territory) in 21 minutes off the bench.

Cal State Northridge trailed 9-0 to start the game. The Matadors missed their first eight shots before a Maxwell jumper at 14:02 in the first half. Maxwell's jumper keyed an 8-0 CSUN run.

CSUN's intensity on both ends of the floor continued. The Matadors held a 30-24 lead with 3:42 on the clock.

At halftime, CSUN lead UCSB, 33-32.

Cal State Northridge led only 17 SECONDS in the second half, 39-38, with 17:38 to play. UCSB built a 55-47 with 9:08 on the clock.

No problem … A 7-0 Matador run cut the Gauchos lead to only one point, 55-54, with 7:56 on the clock. 

UCSB refused to surrender the lead. The Gauchos lead jumped to seven points, 68-61, with 3:13 remaining.

No problem … Five straight Matador points (a Maxwell basket and a Greene three-pointer) cut the UCSB lead to only two points, 68-66, with 38 seconds remaining.

Two UCSB free throws by Alan Williams gave the home team a 70-66 lead with 25 seconds left.

The dramatics then shifted into high gear. Greene hit another three-pointer. The scoreboard now read, UCSB 70, CSUN 69.

A Gaucho free throw changed the score to 71-69 with seven seconds to play. But Landon Drew scored his only basket of the game as he drove down the middle for a reverse layup with six seconds to play to tie the game, 71-71.

A Gaucho missed shot the sent the game into overtime, 71-71.

Back-and-forth both teams traded leads in overtime. With 56 seconds to play, Maxwell performed his magic with a free throw to tie the game, 78-78. As time was nearing the zero mark, Drew rebounded a UCSB three-pointer. CSUN worked the ball into Maxwell whose short jumper nestled through the net with .01 that lifted the Matadors to their biggest victory of the season.

The clock hit zero. The Matadors jumped for joy and raced off the clock to the applause of many Matador supporters who graced the crowd at the Thunderdome.

Cal State Northridge is 13-14 overall and 5-7 in the Big West Conference. UC Santa Barbara fell to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in league competition.

Matador Memo …
Cal State Northridge has now played in four overtimes in the last six games … The Matadors are 3-1 in overtimes during that span … In all, CSUN has played five overtimes during the course of the 2013-14 season … Their record is 4-1 … Josh Greene collected two steals to give him 121 in his four-year career to move him into eighth place all-time at CSUN just head of Trenton Cross (120, 1994-98) and Derrick Gathers (120, 1988-90)Greene's seven free throws gives him 365 in his four-year career, to move into fourth place all-time ahead of Jeff Parris (358, 1997-01)Stephen Hicks' nine points gives him 1,292 in his three-year CSUN career to move into a sixth place tie with Jim Malkin (1959-62) ... Stephen Maxwell's 12 rebounds gives him 641 in his three-year CSUN career, fifth all-time ahead of Paul McCracken (630, 197-72).