Matadors Open Big West Action at Pacific and UC Davis

Jan. 1, 2010

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-7) are keenly aware that every other team will compete at their highest level in an effort to dethrone the defending Big West Conference champions.

What better place to begin conference action that in Stockton, California, home of the one team the Matadors defeated in the decisive game that enabled CSUN to clinch a berth in last year's NCAA Tournament - the Pacific Tigers (7-4).

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., basketball fans can watch an internet stream of the game and listen to Bill Courtland, the voice of Matador Basketball broadcast all the action live at or follow all the action via GameTracker.

Even though Pacific currently sits atop the Big West standings, the Tigers will bring a losing streak of their own to the Alex G. Spanos Center when the two teams clash against one another Saturday evening.

Having dropped their last three games, all on the road against Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, and Oklahoma State the Tigers will look to snap their three-game skid in a more familiar environment.

With the exception of a "home" game played at Stockton Arena against California in early December, the Tigers have defeated each and every opponent that has visited the Alex G. Spanos Center this season.

Having nearly defeated Pacific on the road in the two previous seasons, Head Coach Bobby Braswell and his team are confident that they can assemble a winning performance from start to finish, and become the first road team to leave Stockton victorious.

Matador fans should keep an eye on junior forward Sam Willard as his 10.9 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game are team high marks.

Following their conference-opener in Stockton, the Matadors will then make the short drive to Davis to face the Aggies in the final game of their current two-game road trip.

Having defeated UC Davis (4-8) in their last five straight games between the two, the Matadors will look to extend this streak once again against an Aggie team that is scheduled to face the last two Conference champions, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge in their first two respective conference games of the season.

After splitting their first six games of the season, the Aggies lost their next four consecutive games before defeating Whttier on December 30th to snap the losing streak.

Led by junior guards Mark Payne (17.8 ppg/3.8 rpg), Joe Harden (14.3 ppg/8.0 rpg), and senior forward Dominic Calegari (14.7 ppg/5.8 apg) the Aggies will look to end their home-stand with a win against their nemesis from the Valley before embarking on the toughest portion of their schedule as five of the six games following the CSUN match-up will be on the road.