Cal State Northridge Hosts UC Riverside In Big West Contest

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Jan. 11, 2011

Northridge Notes
Cal State Northridge (4-11 overall, 1-2 Big West) is back home to begin a four-game homestand starting with the UC Riverside Highlanders (6-8 overall, 1-1 Big West) on Thursday, January 13, 2011 ... Tipoff is 7:05 p.m. ... Following the league contest against UC Riverside, the Matadors host Cal State Fullerton (1/15/11, 7:05 p.m.), Seattle (1/19/11, 7:05 p.m.) and Cal Poly (1/22/11, 1:05 p.m.) ... The Matadors, thus far, feature one of the top 1-2 scoring combinations in the Big West Conference ... Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Ca) is averaging 17.1 ppg (#3 in the BWC) while Rashaun McLemore (6-5, 2-5. Senior, G/F, Richmond, Va) checks in at 16.1 ppg (#5 in the league) ... The combined scoring total of 33.2 ppg by Daniel and McLemore is the highest 1-2 Cal State Northridge scoring combination since the 2000-01 season when Brian Heinle averaged 20.2 ppg and John Burrell checked in at 14.6 ppg ... Daniel leads the league in field goal percentage (.575) which is currently tenth-best in school history for a single season.

Conference Chatter
*** Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) is #1 in the Big West field goal percentage (.575), third in the league in scoring (17.1 ppg) and rebounding (9.2 rpg), and fifth in blocks (1.00 bpg) ... Daniel has grabbed ten or more rebounds in eight games, including a career-high 15 boards at Air Force (12/2/109) ... Daniel is shooting .635 (87-for-137) from the floor in his last eleven games.
*** Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) has seven double-doubles (points-rebounds) this year, third-best in the Big West Conference behind Sam Williard of Pacific with eleven and T.J. Robinson of Long Beach State with eight.
*** Dathan Lyles (5-11, 175, Senior, Guard, Lima, Oh) is #4 in assists (3.93 apg) ... In three games, Lyles has dished out seven or more assists, including a career-high nine against Vanguard (11/20/10).
*** Vinnie McGhee (5-10, 165, Junior, Guard, Oakland, Ca) is tenth in the BWC in three-pointers made (26, 1.73 pg).
*** Rashaun McLemore (6-5, 205, Senior, G/F, Richmond, Va) is fifth in the league in scoring (16.1 ppg).
*** Michael Lizarraga (6-7, 230, Senior, Forward, Dixon, Ca) is eighth in the BWC in blocked shots (0.73 bpg).
*** Frankie Eteuati (6-10, 185, Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) is sixth in the BWC in blocks at 0.93 per game ... Eteuati blocked a season-high three blocks in games against DePaul (11/26/10) and at Air Force (122/2/10).

Conference Catalogue
*** Cal State Northridge is ranked #2 in the Big West Conference in steals (7.47 spg).
*** Cal State Northridge is ranked #3 in the Big West Conference in blocked shots (3.00 bpg).

Lenny's Ledger
*** Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) has moved to the top of the scoring charts for Cal State Northridge ... After scoring only two points and shooting 0-for-12 from the floor in the first two games of the year, Daniel has caught fire on the offensive and defensive ends of the court ... In the last elven games (DePaul, Tulsa, Air Force, Denver, Cal Lutheran, Cal State Bakersfield, Santa Clara, Pacific, UC Davis, Long Beach State, Seattle), Daniel has averaged 21.0 points (231 points) and 9.8 rebounds (108 rebounds) per game while shooting .635 (87-for-137) from the floor.
*** Daniel has now upped his season average from 1.0 ppg in the first two games to 17.1 ppg (#3 in the BWC).
*** Daniel is shooting .575 (96-for-167) from the floor, #1 in the Big West Conference.
*** Daniel is now third in the Big West Conference in rebounding at 9.2 per game.
*** Daniel has recorded five double-doubles in his last seven games ... Against Cal Lutheran (12/7/10), Daniel tied his career-high in points (31) and field goals (15-for-18) along with 13 rebounds and three blocks.
*** Daniel has recorded 15 double-doubles in two seasons at Cal State Northridge.
*** The superb performance by Daniel at the recent 76 Classic in Anaheim netted the senior forward Big West Player of the Week honors ... Daniel averaged 20.7 points (#2 in the tournament) and led all rebounders (10.3 rpg) during the three-game tournament that featured a high quality field of eight teams, five of whom competed in NCAA or NIT post-season competition last year ... In helping Cal State Northridge to an 86-66 victory over DePaul (11/26/10) of the Big East Conference, Daniel scored a career-high 31 points (11-for-15 from the floor) along with a game-high ten rebounds ... The 31 points scored by Daniel against DePaul were the most points scored by any player in the 76 Classic, and the third-best scoring effort in the four-year history of the tournament ... The 31-point, ten-rebound performance against DePaul also gave Cal State Northridge its first victory over a Big East school in the 53-year history of Matador history ... In the first game of the 76 Classic, Daniel collected 13 rebounds against Virginia Tech (11/25/10), the most by any player in the 76 Classic ... In the final game of the 76 Classic on Sunday, Daniel scored 24 points (9-for-12 from the floor) along with eight rebounds and two blocks against Tulsa ... Daniel was outstanding from the field at the 76 Classic, hitting 23-of-36 shots for .639.
*** Daniel has blocked 15 shots (#5 in the BWC) this year to give him 59 for his career, sixth-best in school history.

Close Calls
*** Over the last two seasons, CSUN has played in ten games (2-8) decided by three points or less ... CSUN has played in five one-point games (0-5) during that span.
*** Go figure ... CSUN lost to Air Force (63-72, 12/2/10)) despite the fact they scored more baskets (23-to-21) and outrebounded the Falcons (49-to-30), lost to Denver (63-66, 12/4/10) despite the fact CSUN scored more baskets (18-to-15) and outrebounded Denver (31-to-22), and lost at Seattle (1/8/11) despite holding the Redhawks to only 37 percent shooting, 21 percent from behind the arc, and forcing Seattle into 20 turnovers.

Schedule Saga
*** Challenging is always the trademark of the CSUN basketball schedule, and this year is no exception.
*** CSUN started the year with two games against Pac-10 schools at UCLA (L, 53-80, 11/12/10) and at California (L, 63-80, 11/16/10).
*** In Bobby Braswell's previous 14 years as head coach at CSUN, the Matadors have scheduled at least one Pac-10 school in 13 of those years ... The Pac-10 opponents have included Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, UCLA, Washington and Washington State.
*** CSUN competed against national notables Virginia Tech (L, 56-72, 11/25/10), DePaul (W, 88-66, 11/26/10) and Tulsa (L, 63-80, 11/28/10) in the 76 Classic (11/25 to 11/28/10) at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Television Tale
*** Five Cal State Northridge men's basketball games will appear on ESPN's family of networks and Fox Sports Net.
*** CSUN's game at Denver (12/4/10) was televised on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain. *** CSUN's three games (Virginia Tech, DePaul, Tulsa) at the 76 Classic (Nov. 25-28) were televised live on ESPNU.
*** One Big West Conference game will be televised on Fox Sports Net (Prime) ... That game will be CSUN's home contest against Cal Poly on Saturday, January 22 ... Game time at The Matadome is 1:00 p.m.
*** CSUN will have other opportunities to be on television during the 2010-11 season ... The ESPN Brackbuster games that are slated either Friday (Feb. 18), Saturday (Feb. 19) or Sunday (Feb. 20) will be on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU ... The semi-finals of the Big West Tournament on Friday, March 11, will be televised on ESPNU ... The Big West Championship game will be seen on ESPN2.

Riverside Report
*** UC Riverside is 6-8 overall and 1-1 in the Big West Conference ... The Highlanders are 2-5 on the road.
*** Three UCR players average in double figures led by Javon Borum (5-11, 190, Senior, Guard, Washington, D.C.) at 14.5 ppg, Phil Martin (6-4, 200, Junior, Guard, Staten Island, NY) at 13.6 ppg and Kareem Nitoto (6-1, 185, Junior, Oakland, Ca) at 11.0 ppg ... Borum is second in the league in free throw percentage (.894), Nitoto is third in assists (4.31 apg) and Martin is fourth in the league in field goal percentage (.514) ... Three players lead the team in rebounding ... Martin, Elliott Berry (6-7, 210, Junior, Foward, St. Louis, Mo) and B.J. Shearry (6-7, 220, Junior, Forward, Boise, Id) are each averaging five rebounds per game ... UC Riverside leads the Big West Conference in rebounding at 38.9 rpg and blocked shots (4.21 bpg).
*** The Highlanders are holding their opponents to only a .410 shooting percentage, second-best in the league.

Series Story
*** Cal State Northridge holds a 35-28 lead over UC Riverside in this 63-game series that dates back to the 1959-60 season.
*** The Matadors have won 12 straight games over the Highlanders dating back to the 2004-05 season.
*** Cal State Northridge has beaten UC Riverside in the last six games at The Matadome.

Tournament Talk
*** The Big West Conference and the Honda Center (home of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks) have teamed up to form a five-year partnership to host the annual men's and women's post-season basketball tournies beginning in 2011.
*** The Big West Tournament is the oldest NCAA Division I post-season basketball tournament in the west dating back to 1976 ... The Big West Tournament had been held at the Anaheim Convention Center (1977-82 and 2001-2010).
*** Tickets are on sale for the 2011 Big West Tournament which will be held on March 10-12, 2011 ... All-Session tickets are good for all games ... The regular price is $64 per ticket ... Go to www.bigwest.org for more information.

Final Facts
*** For the first time in the 53-year history of Cal State Northridge basketball, the Matadors scored a win over a Big East school when they scored a 88-66 win over DePaul (11/26/10).
*** Lenny Daniel, Dathan Lyles & Rashaun McLemore are serving as team captains this year.
*** With ten new players, including eight freshmen, on the 17-man CSUN roster in 2010-11, this is the youngest team head coach Bobby Braswell will coach as he is in the midst of his 15th season as head coach at Cal State Northridge ... CSUN only has nine years of NCAA season experience, three of those seasons by senior Michael Lizarraga ... Only Cal State Fullerton (6 years) and UC Riverside (7 years) have younger Big West Conference teams than CSUN.
*** Cal State Northridge has employed seven different starting lineups in 13 games this year.