March 11, 2010
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Anaheim, Calif. - You really couldn't fault the effort and hustle.
The Cal State Northridge men's basketball season is over for 2009-10, but the Matadors kept swinging and fighting to the last second.
Eighth-seeded Cal State Northridge came out ready to play with hopes of springing an upset over fifth-seeded Cal State Fullerton in the opening round of the Big West Conference Tournament on Wednesday night at the Anaheim Convention Center.
But in the end, Cal State Fullerton had a little too much at critical times of the game to record a 84-76 victory over the Matadors, thus ending CSUN's 2009-10 season at 11-21.
Head coach Bobby Braswell told reporters he was proud of the team's effort and heaped praise on CSUN's six seniors, who played their final game wearing the red and black Matador uniform.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of my team especially the seniors," said Braswell, who also expressed his emotions to the team in a somber Matador locker room. "I asked these guys tonight to come out here and just sell out, and give everything they have. As a coach, I thought the team did that tonight. Sometimes you don't end up on the right side of the scoreboard even when you do some things right. For the most part, we did things right."
Cal State Northridge started the game without one its top players, Lenny Daniel, who was suspended for the Big West Tournament for "failing to fulfill the academic requirements set forth by the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team."
Daniel, who this week was named honorable mention All-Big West, had been averaging 11.7 points and leading the Matadors in rebounding at 7.8 boards per game. Without playing with one of its best players, most teams would have slumped to the floor with the face of defeat, but the Matadors refused to "wave the white flag."
Up stepped seniors Vincent Cordell, Mark Hill, Willie Galick and Kenny Daniels. Cordell, who had only started seven previous games in two seasons at Cal State Northridge, had a career-night in his final collegiate game. Cordell started and responded with his first career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Hill dented the scoreboard for 15 points while Galick simply pounded the ball inside for 13 points and nine rebounds. Daniels added 13 points and three rebounds.
"We fought to the end," said Braswell. "Obviously, missing Lenny was a big impact who had two pretty good games (earlier this year) against Cal State Fullerton. But I'm really proud of Vincent's (Cordell) numbers, 12 points and 13 rebounds. That's a huge night for Vincent. Willie had a good game with 13 points and nine rebounds. From that standpoint, they made up Lenny's numbers for us."
Cal State Northridge seniors Vincent Cordell, Kenny Daniels, Willie Galick, Mark Hill, Tony Osunsanmi and Therin Taylor's contributions will be missed ... During their careers, the six seniors played a total of 374 games (163 starts), scored 2,212 points, grabbed 1,151 rebounds, dished out 344 assists, collected 255 steals and tallied 69 blocks ... Osunsanmi and Taylor helped lead the Matadors to back-to-back Big West regular season championships (2007-08, 2008-09), a Big West Tournament title (2008-09), and a trip to the NCAA Tournament (2008-09) ... Cordell, Daniels, Galick, Hill, Osunsanmi and Taylor were all on the 2008-09 Matador team that won the Big West regular season championship, the Big West Tournament crown, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Cal State Northridge broke three school records during the 2009-10 season ... The 933 free throw attempts broke the school record of 868 set during the 1996-67 season ... CSUN made 624 free throws, breaking the old mark of 613 during the 2000-01 campaign ... Lenny Daniel set the school record with 44 blocks, breaking the old mark of 37 set by Tremaine Townsend during the 2007-08 season.
* The 783 defensive rebounds are second-best in school history and only two short of the school record (785) set during the 2000-01 season.
* Cal State Northridge scored 2,282 points, tied for tenth place in the school record book with the 2008-09 team.
* The 431 offensive rebounds are third-best for a single season in school history.
* The 1,214 total rebounds are fourth-best for a single season.
* Kenny Daniels' 39 points vs Idaho (12/3/09) are third-best for a single game in CSUN history ... Only 40 points by Mark Cooley at Cal State Fullerton (2/18/67) and a school record 47 points by Ollie Carter vs Westmont (2/1/66) are better ... The 39 points are the most by a Big West Conference player in 2009-10.
* Kenny Daniels had 13 free throws against Idaho (12/3/09) which ranks seventh-best in the school record book.
* Kenny Daniels scored 498 points in 2009-10, tenth-best for a single season in CSUN history.
* Kenny Daniels tallied 144 free throws, tied for fifth-best in school history with Mark Cooley (1966-67).
* Kenny Daniels had 180 free throw attempts, eighth-best in school history.
* Lenny Daniel's 44 blocks in 2009-10 not only is a school record but is seventh-best in school history.
* Lenny Daniel had five blocks in three games (vs Idaho on 12/3/09, vs UC Riverside on 1/14/10, and vs Cal State Fullerton on 2/13/10), one short of the school record.
* Mark Hill had 12 free throws against Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10), ninth-best in school history.
* All the following record book stats took place against Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10) in the classic triple overtime game - the 37 free throws made are second-best all-time at Cal State Northridge, the 49 free throw attempts are third-best for a single game, the 39 CSUN fouls tied the Matadome record originally set vs Nevada (11/17/01), the 112 points scored by CSUN are 15th-best for a single game in school history, the 61 CSUN rebounds were ninth-best for a single game in school history, and the seven CSUN team blocks were seventh-best for a single game in CSUN history.