Cal State Northridge Storms To Impressive 96-85 Victory Over Chicago State
Northridge, Calif. - Jonathan Heard and Calvin Chitwood were expected to be the dominant 1-2 scoring punch for the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team this year.
Heard and Chitwood did not disappoint in the 2007-08 season-opener as the senior duo combined for 51 points and 26 rebounds to help the Matadors to a 96-85 victory over Chicago State on Saturday afternoon at The Matadome.
Heard scored a career-high 29 points, including 19 in the second half, while Chitwood added 22 points. The duo hit 20-for-35 shots from the floor, and added 11-of-15 free throw attempts. Chitwood added to his all-around great numbers with a career-high 18 rebounds (ten offensive boards), four blocks and three steals in 38 minutes of play. Chitwood easily beat his previous best rebounding total by five (13 last year vs UC Riverside). Heard played 35 minutes, and in addition to his career-high 29 points, added three steals, one block and an assist in 35 minutes of action.
The guard play of Deon Tresvant and Paul Wayne also sparkled. Tresvant came off the bench to tally 14 points, including three 3-pointers in 30 minutes of play. Wayne, making his first Division I collegiate star, scored 13 points (11-for-12 from the free throw line) along with six assists and a steal in 23 minutes.
Chicago State took the momentum early in the game, leading by as many as nine points (14-5) at the 16:36 mark. The Matadors led by three points, 17-14, with 13:49 in the opening 20 minutes, but the Matadors could not find a defensive answer for Chicago State's star guard David Holston, who tallied 23 points (7-for-9 from the floor, 6-for-7 from three-point territory) in eleven first-half minutes.
Holston's play propelled the Cougars to a 52-44 halftime lead. Chicago State hit 56 percent (18-for-32 from the floor) in the first half, including 7-of-13 from three-point territory. Cal State Northridge was able to stay within range by hitting 52 percent (16-for-31).
However, in the second half, the Matador defense clamped down on Holston and the Cougar offense. Holston was held to six second-half points, all free throws. Chicago State's second half field goal percentage fell to 35 percent, while the Matadors forced the visitors into 13 turnovers.
"It was a blessing to see our team respond," said CSUN head coach Bobby Braswell. "This team competed. I told our guys that we were in a fight, and the guys stepped up and wore down Chicago State in the second half."
Heard agreed. "We got punched early, but we have competitors and we fought back. We just settled down and played together. We played great defense ... took charge of the situation and took pride in playing hard."
The 96 points scored by the Matadors is the most in a season opener since a 98-100 loss to St. Thomas to start the 1989-90 campaign.
For the game, Cal State Northridge hit 49 percent (32-for-66), and 28-of-39 from the free throw line.
"If we execute, the offense will take care of itself," said Chitwood. "We have a lot of depth ... guys who can stay fresh during the game. We're hungry, and you saw a preview of what's to come."
Next Saturday, November 17, the Matadors travel to Pepperdine. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
Point-guard Josh Jenkins collected five assists and two steals in 13 minutes of play ... Center Tremaine Townsend garnered seven rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.