Feb. 3, 2011
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Riverside, Calif. - A Cal State Northridge defense that had efficiently disrupted the opposition's offense in the past five games just didn't appear ready to play on Thursday night at UC Riverside.
Matador head coach Bobby Braswell observed the tenor of the game from the opening tipoff.
"We just didn't have the mind set from the beginning of the game," said Braswell as he watched Cal State Northridge drop a 73-70 Big West Conference game at UC Riverside's Student Recreation Center. "At one point, UC Riverside was on pace to score 60 points in the first half. Our defense just wasn't there tonight."
The Highlanders eventually were held to 41 points in the first half, and CSUN's defense played a bit better in the second half holding the home team to 32 points. CSUN had several opportunities to win the game, but couldn't connect at crucial times in dropping its league record to 5-4. Cal State Northridge is 8-14 overall.
UC Riverside raised its league mark to 3-5 and 8-12 overall.
Three Cal State Northridge players collected double-digit points. Michael Lizarraga and Rashaun McLemore each scored 12 points while Lenny Daniel added eleven points. Daniel had a team-high eight rebounds along with two blocks.
Phil Martin led UC Riverside with 23 points.
A three-pointer by Vinnie McGhee gave Cal State Northridge its biggest lead of the game, 49-43, with 15:19 remaining in the game. But a 12-2 run by UC Riverside in the next five minutes gave the Highlanders a 55-51 lead.
The Matadors managed to take a one point lead, 61-60, with four minutes remaining on two free throws by McLemore. But the Highlanders again rallied with a 10-3 run to take a 70-64 lead with 51 ticks on the clock.
McGhee's third 3-pointer of the game with 19 seconds left in the game made it 72-70, but UC Riverside closed out the game with a free throw with 13 seconds left to make the final score official - UC Riverside 73, Cal State Northridge 70.
Cal State Northridge returns home on Saturday, February 5, to face UC Irvine. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at The Matadome.
Matador Memo ...
Lenny Daniel had two blocks against UC Riverside to give him 70 for his two-year CSUN career ... That moves him ahead of Tremaine Townsend (2007-09) into third place all-time in career blocks at Cal State Northridge ... Vinnie McGhee had three 3-pointers, the ninth time he has accomplished that feat this year.