Feb. 24, 2010
Goleta, Calif. - Too little too late.
Cal State Northridge battled back from a 26-point deficit with more than 13 minutes to play to cut the UC Santa Barbara lead to two points in the final 24 seconds, but the Gauchos held on to a 74-69 Big West Conference victory on Wednesday night at The Thundersome.
The Gauchos dominated play from the start. UCSB, in first place in the Big West Conference at 11-3 (17-8 overall), jumped to their first double-digit lead of the game, 21-10, at the 11:28 mark of the first half.
The UCSB lead jumped to 15 points, 32-17, at halftime.
Sixteen turnovers, only two assists, and 5-of-15 shooting from the free throw line didn't help the Matador cause in the first 20 minutes.
The UCSB lead just kept getting bigger in the second half as the Gauchos built up its biggest lead of the game, 47-21, with 13:48 remaining.
However, Cal State Northridge decided enough was enough. Senior Kenny Daniel scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half. Willie Galick scored all of his eleven points in the second half, and Mark Hill added ten second-half points.
The Matadors gradually cut the Gaucho large lead as time progressed. It was 66-62 with 1:34 to play, and 69-67 with 1:23 remaining.
However, CSUN couldn't get the defensive stop it needed to tie the game and possibly go ahead.
Two free throws by Galick made it 72-69 with seven seconds remaining, but UCSB's James Powell hit two free throws in the final five seconds to make the final score - UCSB 74, Cal State Northridge 69.
Daniels led Matador rebounds with nine. Daniels added four steals and three assists in 33 minutes.
Cal State Northridge, now 10-18 overall and 5-8 in league play, travels to UC Irvine on Saturday (2/27/10) at 7:00 p.m.
Lenny Daniel had a block against the Gauchos to give him 35 for the year, only two short of the school record set by Tremaine Townsend during the 2007-08 season ... The Gaucho victory broke their four-game losing streak to CSUN ... Cal State Northridge has now played in ten games (3-7) decided by five points or less.