Dec. 6, 2009
SEATTLE, Wash. - Cal State Northridge took on its second top-10 team in three weeks and the Matadors made it close in the second half before falling 88-76 to the 10th-ranked Washington Huskies before 8,125 at Bank of America Arena.
Junior Lenny Daniel paced the Matadors with a career-high 24 points to go with a team-high seven rebounds. Daniel finished the night 8-for-12 from the floor and a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line. Redshirt-sophomore Vinnie McGhee added 14 points and three assists and junior Kevin Menner chipped in 10 points. Fellow junior Michael Lizarraga also had a solid night scoring a career-high eight points to go with six rebounds and three blocks.
The story of the game, however was the Washington rebounding and the fact that the Matadors' two leading scorers Kenny Daniels and Willie Galick combined for eight points on 2-for-9 shooting. Daniels, who came in averaging 19.7 points per game, was double-teamed much of the night and was held to seven points on 2-for-7 shooting. Galick played 16 minutes and was held without a field goal and grabbed just two rebounds.
The bigger Huskies out-rebounded the Matadors by a 50-30 margin and had 24 rebounds on the offensive end resulting in 19 second-chance points.
"The two things we said were important was us rebounding, which we obviously didn't do as they beat us by 20 on the boards, and the second thing was I just didn't think we competed real well tonight," said Matador head coach Bobby Braswell. "Some of our guys really didn't compete tonight which is disappointing from a competitive standpoint."
Northridge looked good early as the Matadors took a 9-4 lead after a pair of Mark Hill free throws with 16:09 left in the half. Northridge also led by five at 11-6 after a McGhee jumper before a 7-2 Husky run knotted the score at 13-13 with 13:09 remaining in the half.
From that point on Washington never trailed as the Huskies pushed the lead to 10 (32-22) after Tyreese Breshers converted one of two free throws with 5:45 left. Washington eventually took its largest lead (46-34) into the locker room after Abdul Gaddy's layup with six seconds to go before the break.
Breshers' layup less than a minute into the second half gave the Huskies another 12-point cushion (48-36) before the Matadors engineered an 11-0 run to trim the lead to one (48-47) with 15:36 remaining in the game. McGhee and Daniel combined for nine of the Matadors' 11 points as Northridge got as close as they had been since the 12:20 mark of the first half.
But an ensuing 8-0 Washington run ultimately ballooned to a 21-5 run and the Huskies were comfortably in front 69-52 with 7:15 left on the clock.
"We cut the lead down to one and took a timeout and they went on a large run and that was the basketball game," said Braswell. "Obviously we competed ourselves back into the game but they had a run and we just didn't respond. We struggled tonight and didn't play good basketball but you have to give them credit for that."
Isaiah Thomas wound up with a team-high 21 points to lead the Huskies while Quincy Pondexter added 20. Gaddy also reached double figures with 10 points.
Cal State Northridge wraps up its two-game road trip on Tuesday, Dec. 8 as the Matadors travel to Colorado to take on the University of Denver at 6 p.m. PST.
- GO MATADORS -