Jan. 21, 2009
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Northridge, Ca - Funny thing about the quirks of the game of basketball. Simply scoring a lot of points, and scoring more baskets would seem to be a formula for success ... winning games.
The Cal State Northridge basketball team tallied 87 points (their third best scoring output of the season), scored more baskets (33-to-31) than Cal State Fullerton, and shot a decent 48 percent (including 11-of-22 from three-point territory), but still lost to the Titans for the sixth straight season at The Matadome in a Wednesday night Big West Conference game.
Final Score - Cal State Fullerton 91, Cal State Northridge 87
The Matador defense simply could not hold the Titans offense in check. Cal State Fullerton hit .517 (31-for-60) from the floor, freshman point-guard Jacques Streeter tallied a career-high 27 points, and reserve guard Marcio Lassiter added 17 points to lead the visitors to victory.
"When you score 87 points you ought to win at home," said head coach Bobby Braswell. "But when you give up 91 points, that just isn't going to happen. It was a very disappointing effort on our part. We have to defend to be a good basketball team."
In the last two games, the Matadors have allowed the opposition to shoot 50 percent or better. That is not acceptable, according to Braswell, if you're going to win basketball games.
"In the past few games, we've been giving up way to much penetration to the basket," said Braswell. "That leads to some foul trouble by our big men. They are being asked to help too much. Cal State Fullerton went to on-ball screens at the top and just attacked us. We didn't put a flag in the turf and say `you're not going to do that.' Any time you let a team get in the paint, especially with their players who can shoot, you're asking for trouble."
Cal State Fullerton led the entire first half, including a 36-24 lead at the 6:32 mark. The Titans led at halftime, 45-35.
It wasn't until the 8:50 mark of the second half that Cal State Northridge enjoyed its first lead of the game, 66-65, thanks to a dunk by Rob Haynes.
The lead was built to five points, 73-68, with 6:17 remaining, but Braswell remained worried.
"The minute we got the lead," said Braswell. "We kind of letup and said, `hey, we'll go into a shooting match with you.' We're just not going to win games playing that way. You have to defend."
Two minutes later, Cal State Fullerton took the lead at 76-75, and extended it to six points, 90-84, with seven seconds to play.
A three-point basket by Josh Jenkins cut the margin to 90-87 with three seconds to play, but a free throw by Chris Rhymes iced the victory for the Titans.
Five Matador players scored in double figures. Jenkins scored a team-high 19 points (5-for-8 from behind the arc) along with seven assists in 20 minutes of play. Rodrigue Mels tallied a season-high 15 points. Tremaine Townsend collected his third straight double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Rob Haynes added 14 points (4-for-6 from 3-point territory) while Kenny Daniels collected ten points along with career-highs in rebounds (9), assists (5) and steals (2).
Cal State Northridge, now 6-10 overall and 3-3 in the conference, hosts UC Irvine on Saturday (Jan. 24). Tipoff at The Matadome is 7:00 p.m.
Matador Memo ...
Tremaine Townsend has now grabbed 41 rebounds in his last three games ... Rob Haynes, with four 3-pointers in six attempts, has now made at least one three-pointer in 15 straight games ... Haynes now has 143 3-pointers in his four-year Matador career to move past Carl Holmes (1997-01, 140) into third place all-time in the school record book ... With seven assists tonight against Cal State Fullerton, Josh Jenkins moved past Brian Heinle (1997-01, 290) into fifth place all-time at Cal State Northridge with 295.