Nov. 25, 2010
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Anaheim, Calif. - It was a tale of two halves (one good, one bad) of basketball for Cal State Northridge on this Thanksgiving Day.
As head coach Bobby Braswell would say, one of these days the Matadors will put together two good halves of basketball and CSUN will emerge a winner.
The first half of basketball against a national caliber contingent like Virginia Tech (an ACC school) proved to be CSUN's waterloo during first round play at the 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center on Thursday morning.
Cal State Northridge committed 18 turnovers compared to only two assists, hit only 5-of-21 shots from the floor, and couldn't contain a Virginia Tech team that in comparison collected 17 baskets in 34 attempts for 50 percent.
At halftime, the Hokies led, 38-18.
"They (Virginia Tech) are a senior-laden team that has a chance to be good this year," said Matador head coach Bobby Braswell. "We knew we had our hands full. We didn't take care of the ball and we were a little tentative."
A halftime discussion by Braswell to his players led to a spirited group of Matadors in the second half as they out scored the Hokies, 38-34, upped their shooting percentage from 24 percent to 40 percent, and cut Virginia Tech's lead from 22 points (40-18 with 19:37 remaining) to as little as eleven points (54-43) with just nine minutes left in the game.
"We opened the second half throwing it down on the block," said Braswell. "That tactic started to open up the perimeter."
Vinnie McGhee, Rashaun McLemore, and Lenny Daniel led the Matador comeback in the final 20 minutes. McGhee hit eleven of his 14 game points, which included three 3-pointers in four attempts, Daniel collected seven of his game-high 13 rebounds, and McLemore collected ten of his 17 points - all in the final stanza.
But at the NCAA Division I level, as the Matadors coaches would say, you have to play good basketball for the entire 40 minutes, not just 20. Nothing easy is given too you. You are rewarded a win with your competitive play from the get-go to the final buzzer.
The end result - Virginia Tech 72, Cal State Northridge 56.
All three CSUN losses have been to teams with national reputations, UCLA, California and now Virginia Tech.
"It's good to play a team of Virginia Tech's caliber," said Braswell. "We are playing a tough schedule. Hopefully, we will mature as the season goes along. We have played a good 20-minute half against three big schools (UCLA, California, Virginia Tech). Our big issue is learning to put it together at the beginning of the game."
The Matadors fall to 1-3 while Virginia Tech upped its season mark to 3-1.
Matador Memo ...
During the basketball season, the schedule dictates when and where you play ... On this Thanksgiving Day, the entire basketball team will share Thanksgiving blessings at a dinner at a nearby restaurant, relax for a bit at a hotel near Disneyland, and then prepare on Thursday night for Friday's game against DePaul ... DePaul lost to OklAhoma State, 60-56, on Thursday afternoon ... Game time on Friday, November 26, 2010, is 2 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center ... The game will be televised on ESPNU with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham handling the broadcast chores ... On Saturday, all eight teams in the 76 Classic will be invited to Disneyland!!!
From the Cal State Northridge basketball team, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!