Feb. 5, 2009
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Northridge, Ca - Matador head basketball coach Bobby Braswell is counting on his bench to carry the team through some tough times during the 2008-09 season.
With starting center Tremaine Townsend nursing a sprained ankle suffered earlier in the game, the Matadors needed front line help, and CSUN got a hefty dosage of timely rebounding and quality points from Therin Taylor and Vincent Cordell. Taylor scored a career-high 13 points in 16 minutes off the bench, while Cordell grabbed a career-high eleven rebounds to help lead the Matadors to a 79-62 victory over Cal State Bakersfield in a non-league game Thursday night at The Matadome.
"I got an opportunity and Josh (Jenkins) found me early a couple times, and I was able to hit a couple shots," said Taylor. "We are coming together as a team. In each game, it seems like another player keeps stepping up and contributing. I want to help the team as much as I can."
Cordell, who started his third straight game, responded with muscle and intensity on the boards that impressed Braswell.
"If I had a game ball to give away, I would have given it to Vincent," said Braswell. "He did a great job on their best inside player, Santwon Latunde. It is the second time we have put Vincent on the other team's best post player, and he did a great job."
Since giving up 91 points four games ago against Cal State Fullerton, Braswell has worked the team hard in practice on the value of defense.
The game plan has worked. During that span, including Thursday night's win against Cal State Bakersfield, the opposition has shot only 36 percent (78-for-218) from the floor. Cal State Bakersfield only shot .345 (19-for-55).
"We've been continuing to focus on our defense," said Braswell. "I thought we did a pretty decent job tonight. I'm pleased with the effort. We're still not there defensively, but I'm pleased with the direction in which we are going."
Cal State Bakersfield jumped to a 14-4 lead at the 15:19 mark, but a 28-3 run by the Matadors gave the home team the lead for good at 32-17 with 5:32 remaining in the first half.
CSUN's biggest point margin was 21, 63-42, with 8:41 to play.
"The chemistry is getting a lot better," said Willie Galick, who scored 12 points and added six rebounds. "We are playing Northridge basketball. And that's how we are going to keep playing."
The victory raised the Matadors' overall record to .500 at 10-10.
The Matadors will now rest until they return to league action on Feb. 11 when the Matadors host Cal Poly. Tipoff at The Matadome is 7:05 p.m.
Rob Haynes returned to action after missing one game (Cal Poly, 1/31/09) because of a concussion suffered at UC Santa Barbara (1/29/09) ... Haynes hit three 3-pointers against Cal State Bakersfield, the 18th straight game that he has hit a shot from behind the arc ... Josh Jenkins tallied six assists to give him 318 for his two-year Matador career ... That pushes him past Troy Dueker (1984-85, 315) into fourth-place all-time in the CSUN record book ... Jenkins' 127 season assists is tied for seventh best all-time along with Andre Chevalier (1990-91) and Markus Carr (1998-99).