November 17, 2009

Heart, Hustle, and Stellar Defense Help Matadors Defeat Texas State 85-82

Nov. 17, 2009

Box Score

TEMPE, Ariz. - Trailing Texas State University by five after the first twenty-minute session, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (1-2) furiously fought back to regain the lead and held on to defeat the Bobcats 85-82 to earn their first win of the season.

After leading for most of the first half, the Bobcats went on a 16-5 run to take the lead into the locker room at the half.

That lead would remain theirs until the final two minutes of the game when Northridge regained the lead, and never looked back at they connected on timely free throws and crashed the glass to secure rebounds when it counted the most to earn the win.

Four Matadors scored in double-digits for Coach Braswell; guard Kenny Daniels led all scorers with 27 points as he shot 10-13 from the field, 3-4 from behind the 3-point line, and made four of his six free throws.

Forward Willie Galick finished with 13 points of his own with guards Raymond Cordy and Vinnie McGhee finishing with 12 and ten points respectively as 11 different Matadors made the box score with at least one point scored.

CSUN finished the evening with their best performance from the field this season as they shot 53.6 % (30-56) inside the arc and connected on 9-18 shots from behind the 3-point line.

Whereas in their previous games CSUN had dug a hole for themselves by turning over the ball to their opposition, it was the Matador defense that pressured the Bobcats all game long, forcing Texas State to commit 30 turnovers that eventually led to 33 Matador points.

During their first two games, Northridge would play solid defense for a long period of time only to see the fruits of their labor disappear with an ill-timed scoring run by their opponents.

In this game, the CSUN defense helped fuel the come-from-behind effort as they were able to steal the ball away from the Bobcats on 12 occasions, blocking another five shots in the process.

Daniels and Mark Hill were the most effective pick-pocketers of the game as they combined to earn seven of the 12 steals.

If there is one part of the game that will draw the ire of the coaching staff, it will be the disparity between the two teams in the number of rebounds earned throughout the evening.

The Bobcats grabbed nearly twice as many boards (50-27) in the game, but it was a timely rebound by Galick off a missed free-throw by Hill that would eventually send Galick to the line to score the one point that sealed the victory.

Down by as many as eight points in the second half, CSUN went on a 10-2 run over a near five-minute time-span to eradicate the Bobcat lead and place themselves in a position to win the game.

The Matadors will now head back home to Northridge after traveling for the last week and will find out who they will face in the second week of competition in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Tip-Off Tournament when they arrive to campus as the NIT Tournament Committee will announce next week's bracket Wednesday morning.

To find out who CSUN will play next, visit www.GoMatadors.com to find out all the up-to-the minute information on your Matador men's basketball team.