March 8, 2010
If Cal State Northridge is going to the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season, the task won't be easy ... The Matadors, seeded eighth in the Big West Tournament, will have to win four games in four nights to accomplish their goal ... The journey starts on Wednesday, March 10, at 6:00 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center when the Matadors face fifth-seeded Cal State Fullerton (15-14 overall, 8-8 BWC) ... If CSUN wins on Wednesday, the Matadors will advance to Thursday's quarterfinals against third-seeded Long Beach State at 6:00 p.m. ... The semfinals are slated for Friday (3/12/10) at 6:30 p.m. ... If the Matadors are able to get past Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State, the Matadors would face top-seeded and Big West regular season co-champion UC Santa Barbara at 6:30 p.m. in a game to be televised on ESPNU ... If CSUN beats Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and UCSB, then the Matadors will advance to the championship game on Saturday (3/13/10) at 5:00 p.m. on ESPN2.
This is the ninth straight year Cal State Northridge has advanced to the Big West Tournament ... Last year, the Matadors captured the Big West Conference regular season title and thus earned the #1 seed in the tournament ... CSUN was victorious over UCSB (67-60) in the semfinals, and a 71-66 overtime win over Pacific in the championship game earned CSUN the league tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the second time in school history that Cal State Northridge became a part of "March Madness" ... Rodrigue Mels gained tournament MVP honors with 28 points and seven rebounds against UCSB (3/14/09) in the semfinals, and 23 points and seven rebounds in the title game against Pacific (3/15/09) ... Tremaine Townsend gained all-tournament honors with 22 rebounds in the two wins.
Two school records have been broken thus far in 2009-10 ... Lenny Daniel (6-7, 210, Junior, Forward, Richmond, Va) now has the single season school record of 44 blocks this year, which also is seventh-best in the career category ... Daniel has collected five blocks in three games this year (Idaho on 12/3/09, UC Riverside on 1/14/10 and Cal State Fullerton on 2/13/10), one short of the school record ... The 905 free throw attempts is a new school record ... CSUN has made 605 free throws, second-best in school history and eight short (613) of the school record set during the 2000-01 season ... CSUN has 417 offensive rebounds this year, third-best in school history ... CSUN has 756 defensive rebounds, fourth-best for a single year ... The 1,173 rebounds by CSUN is seventh-best in school history ... Kenny Daniels' (6-4, 210, Senior Forward, St. Louis, Mo) 39 points vs Idaho (12/3/09) is third-best for a single game in CSUN history ... Only 40 points by Mark Cooley at Cal State Fullerton (2/18/67) and a school record 47 points by Ollie Carter vs Westmont (2/1/66) are better ... The 39 points is the most by a BWC player in 2009-10 ... Daniels had 13 free throws against Idaho (12/3/09) which ranks seventh-best in the school record book ... Daniels has 485 points, tenth-best for a single season in CSUN history ... Daniels has 141 free throws, sixth-best for a single season in CSUN history ... Daniels' 177 free throw attempts is eighth-best for a single season ... Mark Hill (5-11, 175, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) had 12 free throws against Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10), ninth-best in school history ... The Matadors have scored 2,206 points this year and are approaching the tenth position in the school record book of 2.282 points set during the 2008-09 season ... All the following record book stats took place vs Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10) in the classic triple overtime game - the 37 free throws made is second-best all-time at CSUN, the 49 free throw attempts are third-best for a single game, the 39 CSUN fouls tied The Matadome record originally set vs Nevada (11/17/01), the 112 points scored by CSUN is 15th-best for a single game in school history, the 61 CSUN rebounds were ninth-best for a single game in school history, and the seven CSUN team blocks were seventh-best for a single game in CSN history.
Hang on to your seats ... Matador basketball has been intense from start to finish ... Twelve games (4-8) have been decided by five points ... The Matadors have never played so many games decided by five points or less in the 52-year history of Matador basketball ... Eight CSUN games (2-6) have been decided by three points or less ... CSUN has played four one-point games (0-4) this year ... Three of the four one-point losses were against Big West schools, a 73-72 loss at Cal Poly (1/23/10), a 69-68 loss to LBS (1/28/10) and a 113-112 overtime decision to Cal State Fullerton (2/10/10) ... Prior to this year, CSUN had played in only three one-point games against BWC schools since joining the league in 2001-02 ... CSUN hasn't played four one-point contests since the 1992-93 campaign.
Several CSUN players are among the stat leaders in the Big West ... Lenny Daniel (6-7, 210, Jr, F, Richmond, Va) has moved to the top of the blocked shots list (44, 1.5 bpg, school record), third in rebounding (227, 7.8 rpg) and seventh in field goal percentage (.480) ... Daniel has recorded a team-best eight double-doubles (points-rebounds) ... That stat is second-best in the conference behind LBS's T.J. Robinson's 17 ... Kenny Daniels (6-4, 210, Sr, F/G, St. Louis, Mo) is third and eighth, respectively, in field goal pct. (.515) and scoring (15.6 ppg) ... Daniels also ranks fourth in free throw percentage (.797) ... Vinnie McGhee (6-0, 165, RS So, G, Oakland, Ca) is tenth in the BWC in three-pointers made at 1.6 per game ... Mark Hill (5-11, 175, Sr, G, Los Angeles, Ca) remains fifth in the Big West Conference in steals (40, 1.4 spg).
Kenny Daniels (6-4, 210, Senior, F/G, St. Louis, Mo) has been CSUN's most productive offensive player in the last nine games ... Daniels has put together totals of 18, 24, 25, 19, 15, 23, 20, 26 and 17 points in his last nine games (20.8 ppg) against Long Beach State (2/6/10), Cal State Bakersfield (2/10/10), Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10), Cal Poly (2/17/10), Drake (2/20/10), UC Santa Barbara (2/24/10), UC Irvine (2/27/10), UC Davis (3/4/10) and Pacific (3/6/10) ... Daniels has hit 65-of-112 shots (.580) along with 49 rebounds during that span ... Lenny Daniel (6-7, 210, Junior, Forward, Richmond, Va) has collected double-digit points in 13 of his last 16 games ... Six of those games have been double--doubles (points/rebounds).
With at least one more game to play in the 2009-10 season, CSUN has already broken the school record for single season free throw attempts ... CSUN has attempted 905 free throws, an average of 29.2 attempts per game ... The old school record of 868 (26 games) was set during the 1966-67 season ... The 905 charity tosses ranks CSUN second nationally behind Kansas St. (938, 24-6 record), according to the NCAA ... The 49 free throw attempts against Seattle (1/11/10) and Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10) are third-best for a single season in school history ... Cal State Northridge is ranked fifth nationally in free throws made with 605, eight short of the school record set in 32 games during the 2000-01 season ... Morgan State (24-9) leads the nation with 626 followed by Kansas State (24-6) with 624, Vermont (24-6) with 611, and North Texas (22-8) with 607.
The classic game (2/13/10) between CSUN and CSF featured a number of mind boggling stats ... The two teams combined for 225 points, 155 field goal attempts, 110 free throw attempts, 109 rebounds, 81 free throws made, 75 fouls, eleven player foul outs, 17 ties and 15 lead changes ... Ten players scored in double figures ... CSUN's bench outscored CSF's bench, 77-28 ... The Big West schools have played 15,458 games dating back to the 1921-22 season ... Only 20 of the 15,458 games have gone into triple overtime ... CSUN's 52-year basketball history includes just two triple overtime games ... CSUN is 1-1.
The latest Big West overall stats show CSUN is first in rebounding (37.8 rpg), second in scoring (71.2 ppg) and blocked shots (98, 3.2 bpg), and third in steals (233, 7.5 spg) ... The 112 points scored by CSUN vs Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10) is the second--best effort by a Big West team this year ... CS Fullerton tallied 113 points against CSUN (2/13/10).
Michael Lizarraga (6-7, 230, Junior, Forward, Dixon, Ca.) continues to be an inspiration and a hero to many people ... Lizarraga is the only deaf player competing in NCAA Division I major college basketball ... Lizarraga has been the subject of numerous feature stories including the Los Angeles Daily News (2/4/10), Fox Sports Prime Ticket, ESPNU, the Daily Sundial, ESPNLosAngeles.com, mattbrownphoto.com. Channel 4 in Los Angeles, and an upcoming major feature on Channel 2 in Los Angeles ... Lizarraga has been a starter in eight of the team's 31 games ... His best game of the year was an eight-point, six rebound, three block and two steal performance at Washington (12/6/09) ... Lizarraga has grabbed six or more rebounds in five games.
Cal State Fullerton is 15-14 overall and finished in a three-way tie for third place in the Big West Conference at 8-8 ... The Titans are seeded fifth in the BWC Tournament ... Guard Jacques Streeter (6-0, 175, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) leads the team in scoring (11.9 ppg) followed by Gerard Anderson (6-6, 205, Senior, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) at 11.7 ppg, Aaron Thompson (6-4, 190, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) at 11.3 ppg, Jer'Vaughn Johnson (6-6, 240, Junior, Forward, Compton, Ca) at 10.9 ppg, and Devon Peltier (5-11, 185, Junior, Guard, St. Thomas, V.I.) at 10.0 ppg ... Johnson, Anderson and Thompson are bunched together in rebounding at 6.3, 6.1 and 6.0 rebounds per game, respectively.
In the 60-game series between Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton, only four games (2-2) have been played on a neutral court ... The last neutral court game saw the Titans score a 83-68 victory over CSUN during semifinal play at the 2008 Big West Conference Tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center ... Cal State Fullerton leads the series, 34-26 ... Earlier this year, CSUN scored a 78-72 victory at CSF (1/16/10), but lost a triple overtime 113-112 decision to CSF (2/3/10) at The Matadome.
Bobby Braswell is in his 14th season as head coach of the Cal State Northridge Matadors ... His overall record is 216-201 (.518) ... Braswell has guided CSUN to back-to-back Big West regular season championships (2007-08, 2008-09) ... For his efforts, Braswell was awarded Big West Coach of the Year honors in both seasons ... Bob Burton is in his seventh season at Cal State Fullerton with a mark of 122-91 (.573).
This 2009-10 season marks the 52nd season of Cal State Northridge basketball ... Since the program's inception in 1958-59, CSUN has posted an all-time record of 688-735 (.483) ... In the 1,423 games that CSUN has played since the inaugural 1958-59 campaign, the Matadors have scored 105,055 points.