January 22, 2008

Cal State Northridge Falls At Chicago State, 83-75, To End Six-Game Winning Streak


Cal State Northridge Falls At Chicago State, 83-75, To End Six-Game Winning Streak
Box Score

Chicago, Il - Matador head basketball coach Bobby Braswell didn't need to see the stat sheet to express how disappointed he was in the performance of the Cal State Northridge men's basketball on Tuesday night at Chicago State.

Playing against a Cougars team that had entered the game with a 7-14 record, and had fallen to the Matadors in the season opener, 96-85, Cal State Northridge looked sluggish and listless in dropping a 83-75 non-league decision.

"We didn't defend the entire game," said Braswell. "We knew David Holston (CSU's leading scorer) had the ability to get his points, but we let four of their other players score in double figures. We didn't take much personal pride in our defense."

Chicago State hit .509 from the floor, scored 28 of their 35 points inside the paint in the second half, and out rebounded the Matadors, 40-35. The Matadors hit only .397 from the floor, and played catch up nearly the entire game.

"We were selfish from the defensive stand point, and we need to obviously get better," said Braswell.

The Matadors jumped to a quick 3-0 lead to start the game, and led at the 16:05 mark, 6-5. But from then on, it was all Chicago State. An 18-4 run gave the home team their biggest lead of the game, 23-10, at 9:39 of the first half. Cal State Northridge cut the margin to two points, but Chicago State ended the first half with a 48-40 lead.

Throughout the season, the Matadors have been a good second-half team, turning deficits into leads and ultimately into victories. An eight-point Cougar lead at halftime dwindled to only one point, 54-53, with 12:21 on a Josh Jenkins' layup. Chicago State built the lead back to seven points, but CSUN then cut the margin to four points with 6:58 remaining.

Six straight points by Chicago State increased their lead to ten points, 66-56. Back again came the Matadors with an 8-1 run to cut the Cougar lead to one point, 67-64.

The game remained close and on two occasions with less than two minutes to play, the Matadors were within two points of tying the game.

But the Matador defense could not get a "stop" when it needed it, and six straight Cougar points made the final score, 83-75, in favor of the home team.

There were a few positives for Cal State Northridge. Rodrigue Mels tied his career-high with 18 points (6-for-8 from the floor, 4-for-5 from 3-point territory) along with five rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes off the bench. Josh Jenkins and Rob Haynes (5-for-7 from the floor, 3-for-4 from behind the arc) each chipped in with 15 points, and Paul Wayne put up career numbers with 14 points. Wayne also added a career-high six assists with no turnovers.

The loss ended CSUN's six game winning streak, and dropped their season record to 13-4. Cal State Northridge now must regroup and prepare for a league game on Saturday at 4 p.m. as they host Long Beach State at The Matadome.

Matador Minute ...
Tony Osunsanmi, a redshirt sophomore, earned his first collegiate start and responded with five rebounds in 19 minutes of play ... Three assists by Jonathan Heard now gives him 199 for his four-year career and moves him into a tenth place tie in the CSUN record book with Darryl Hawkins (19800-82, 199) ... Heard played 34 minutes against Chicago State to give him 2,689 minutes for his career to move past Pat Bolden (1984-88, 2,671) into sixth place all-time at Cal State Northridge ... Michael Lizarraga has been declared academically ineligible and will miss the remainder of the season ... Lizarraga, a freshman forward, was averaging 0.9 points and 0.9 rebounds per game ... A reminder that the Cal State Northridge game against Long Beach State is slated for Saturday, January, 26, at The Matadome at 4:00 p.m. ... Some schedules have the game listed at 7:00 p.m., but the correct time is 4:00 p.m. ... The game will be televised on Fox Sports Prime Ticket with Paul Sunderlund and Michael Cage providing the broadcast duties.

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