Jan. 2, 2009
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Northridge, Ca. - If you were looking for a stress-free environment to start the New Year, The Matadome was not the place to be on Monday night.
Cal State Northridge and Pacific locked horns from the opening tipoff in a highly tense, gripping Big West Conference basketball game, and for the 16th time in the 20-game series, the Tigers came away with a victory, 84-78, in overtime.
Pacific hurt Cal State Northridge both inside and outside. UOP's two frontline starters, Anthony Brown and Sam Willard combined for 8-of-10 shots (23 total points) along with ten rebounds, and two frontline reserves (Bryan LeDuc and Casey Neimeyer) combined for another 18 points and five rebounds. From beyond the arc, Pacific had only made only 5.5 three-pointers per game, but against the Matadors, the Tigers elected to shoot 28 three-pointers, and made a season-high ten. In their last three games, UOP has now hit 28-of-64 three-pointers for 44 percent.
Overall, Pacific hit .517 (30-for-58) from the floor while the Matadors were held to .460 (29-for-63). Incredibly, Pacific made 5-of-6 shots for .833 in overtime which included 4-of-6 shots (.667) from three-point territory. Not being able to make defensive stops proved to be CSUN's downfall in overtime.
"I thought we were fortunate to get the game into overtime," said CSUN head coach Bobby Braswell. "I was very disappointed with our defensive effort tonight. I don't think we got one defensive stop in overtime. They had nine possessions and either scored or got to the free throw line on each possession. That was the game. That's what overtime is all about ... making defensive stops, and then coming down to your end to convert offensively. We didn't convert on either end."
Cal State Northridge led by as many as eight points (33-25, 6:05) in the first half, and maintained a 43-37 halftime, but as Braswell admitted to reporters, the second half was a different story.
"I thought in the second half, Pacific elevated its level of play, and we stayed at the same level," said Braswell. "That was the big difference."
The Tigers took the lead for the majority of the second half at the 11:51 mark at 53-50. UOP extended the lead to as many as seven points (64-57) with 6:44 remaining. However, the Matadors gradually marched back and eventually tied the game at 68-68 with 39 seconds remaining on a Deon Tresvant three-pointer.
But the visitors from Stockton took charge in overtime, and picked up their eighth victory in 12 games overall, and a 1-0 mark in the Big West.
"Give Pacific credit," said Braswell. "We told our team that when you have a target (pre-season league favorites) on your back, expect the best effort from all your opponents. We thought this was Pacific's best effort of the season. They played some smash-mouth basketball. They out-toughed us."
For the fourth straight game, Tresvant led the Matador attack with 21 points (8-for-15 from the floor, 5-for-10 from behind the arc).
"Deon is playing well for us offensively," said Braswell. "He's playing with a lot of confidence. He also had three assists and two steals. We know what Deon is capable of doing."
Cal State Northridge fell to 4-8 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
The Matadors host UC Davis on Monday (Jan. 5, 2009) at 7:05 p.m.
Matador Memo ...
In his last seven games coming off the bench, Deon Tresvant is now averaging 16.9 ppg ... Rob Haynes hit two three-pointers against Pacific, and now has at least one three-pointer in eleven straight games.