November 3, 2008

Cal State Northridge scores 82-49 exhibition victory over La Verne

Nov. 3, 2008

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By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)

Northridge, Calif. - For Tremaine Townsend, a double-double (points-rebounds) goes without saying.

Before a bigger than expected crowd of nearly 900 fans at The Matadome, Townsend recorded 17 points and grabbed ten rebounds in 15 minutes of play to help lead the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team to a 82-49 victory over La Verne in the first of two exhibition games before the regular season opener on Nov. 14 against Cal Lutheran.

Last year, Townsend led the Big West Conference in double-doubles with ten, and for the season averaged 10.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Despite a stomach virus that limited his playing time on Monday night, Townsend performed like a warrior in propelling the Matadors to a home court victory.

"I'm just here to help the team," said Townsend. "Rebounds are something I focus on. But I'm not really concerned about my stats just as long as we get the victory."

Townsend hit 8-of-15 shots including one 3-point basket.

Head coach Bobby Braswell used his entire bench of 15 players with eleven players churning out ten or more minutes.

Cal State Northridge limited La Verne to only 29 percent shooting (16-for-55), 23 percent from 3-point territory (5-for-22), out rebounded the Leopards (57-23) and forced the visitors into 19 turnovers. Cal State Northridge also recorded ten steals and 45 deflections.

Not bad defensively, but Braswell says there is still a need for improvement.

"I really didn't care about the score," said Braswell. "I wanted to do a lot of things offensively and defensively. Our guys were really anxious to get out and play somebody else. We've been beating each other up for the past 12 or 13 practices. Our defense needs to get better. We fouled a little too much. We gave them to many opportunities at the free throw line. We did some things well, but clearly we can get better."

Josh Jenkins, who led the Big West in assists last year with 191, played 16 minutes at the point-guard position and dished out seven assists along with seven points (3-for-3 from the floor). Jenkins agreed with Braswell. There is room for improvement, but a pretty good start.

"I thing we need work on our execution," said Jenkins. "But we played everybody tonight, and it gave our new players a chance to experience competing at the Division I level. We're improving slowly but surely. We'll have a few more days of practice to get better before our next exhibition game."

One thing everybody agreed. The student section at The Matadome was nearly full for a Monday night exhibition game.

"It was great to see all the fans," Braswell remarked. "especially the students who came out to support the team in their first game."

Jenkins also noticed the enthusiasm that the students provided. "It was great to play in front of the home crowd. It was a great experience for the team. I'm glad everybody (the fans and the team) had a great time."

Cal State Northridge plays its final exhibition game on Saturday, November 8, at 7:05 p.m. against Carroll College of Montana at The Matadome.

Matador Memo ...
Tony Osunsanmi came off the bench to record ten rebounds in 20 minutes of play.

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