Nov. 26, 2010
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Photo credits by Monique Muniz, Assistant Sports Editor (The Daily Sundial)
Northridge, Calif. - So where do we begin because "it's all good".
The Cal State Northridge basketball team scored on its first ten possessions of the game against Big East member DePaul, and shot a 76 Classic Tournament record 76 percent in the first half to eventually smother the Blue Demons into submission, 88-66, on Friday afternoon at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Matador head coach Bobby Braswell had stressed to the team to play tough basketball for 40 minutes, not 20, not 30, but the ENTIRE 40 minutes. That's exactly what happened against DePaul.
The Matadors connected on its first ten shots to take a 24-6 lead at the 11:45 mark of the first half. Two three-pointers early by Rashaun McLemore kicked the Matadors into a high energy atmosphere. DePaul couldn't keep pace, and fell behind more and more as the first half moved along. At one point, Cal State Northridge held a 29-point lead, 41-12, with 5:29 left in the first half.
At that point, DePaul was done, cooked and toasted.
Cal State Northridge continued to carve up DePaul like a Thanksgiving turkey in the second half. DePaul could get no closer than 22 points (64-42) midway through the second half. Cal State Northridge could have eased up on the gas pedal, but not this time. The Matadors would take no prisoners. The Matadors took their biggest lead of the game, 30 points (79-49), with 4:54 remaining in the game.
Want more. Digest these facts in one of the most impressive victories for Cal State Northridge in recent years.
* The 88 points tied the single game tournament record. Arizona State scored 88 points in a 2008 victory over UTEP.
* Cal State Northridge shot a tournament record .760 (19-for-25) in the first half.
* Cal State Northridge hit a season-high .607 (34-for-56) from the floor, and outrebounded DePaul, 35-25.
* The .607 shooting percentage (34-for-56) just missed the tournament record of .610 (25-for-41) by Arizona State over UNC-Charlotte in 2008.
* The 88-66 victory over DePaul was the first time since 2005 that a Big West school had beaten a Big East school in men's basketball. In 2005, Pacific defeated Pittsburgh, 79-71, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
* Lenny Daniel scored a career-high 31 points, the third-best mark in the history of the 76 Classic. Only James Harden of Arizona State had more points in a game with 40 points over UTEP in 2008, and 32 points against Baylor, also in 2008.
* Daniel added a game-high ten rebounds, and along with his 31 points (11-of-15 from the floor), tallied his first double-double of the 2010-11 season, and the ninth double-double in his two year Matador career.
* Daniel, who hit only 1-of-8 free throws the night before against Virginia Tech, connected on 9-of-11 free throws in the win over DePaul.
* Rashaun McLemore continued to display his scoring talents. The senior tallied 21 points (9-for-15 from the floor).
* Dathan Lyles engineered CSUN's high-powered offense with seven assists and no turnovers.
* For the first time in the 53-year history of Cal State Northridge basketball, the Matadors scored a win over a Big East school. The Matadors had been 0-3 against Marquette, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh of the Big East.
Bobby Braswell, CSUN head coach
"We had a conversation last night in our team meeting. There were some challenges laid out there, and these guys stepped up and showed what they're capable of doing. The challenge was simply to play a full 40-minute game this year. And if we could ever put together a 40-minute game then I think some good things would happen with this group. And tonight, we relied heavily on our veteran guys with their senior leadership. They played a bulk of the minutes. I'm proud of their effort, the energy and the game plan. The team executed the game plan perfectly. Obviously, this was a big victory for us."
Matador Memo ...
The victory moved Cal State Northridge into Sunday's consolation championship game at 1 p.m. against Tulsa ... The game will be televised live on ESPNU ... The basketball team will enjoy the day off on Saturday ... All eight teams in the 76 Classic have been invited to Disneyland.