Cal State Northridge Falls From The Ranks Of The Unbeaten
Des Moines, Ia - Applying full court defensive pressure that forced Cal State Northridge into 26 turnovers, the unbeaten Duquesne men's basketball team scored a 97-74 victory over the Matadors in the opening round of the Drake Iowa Realty Invitational Tournament on Friday night.
"Obviously that hurt us, turning over the ball," said head coach Bobby Braswell, "but give Duquesne credit. We also had a lot of unforced turnovers. But it's early in the season and hopefully we'll learn from this. We'll try to get better."
Duquesne entered the game with the nation's second-best offense at 92.5 points per game. Their attacking offense caused the Matadors defensive problems.
"It allowed them to do some things that we were not comfortable with," said Braswell.
Duquesne used eleven players, ten of whom who played at least 12 minutes which eventually wore down the Matadors. Kojo Mensah and Bill Clark combined for 38 points off the bench. Mensah led the way with a team-high 22 points. Aaron Jackson started and responded with 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Duquesne jumped to a 5-0 lead with less than a minute gone in the game. Cal State Northridge fought back to tie the game at 15-15 with 12:42 in the first half. A layup by Jonathan Heard at 10:29 gave the Matadors its first lead of the game at 19-18. Nearly three minutes later, a Calvin Chitwood layup gave the Matadors their biggest lead of the first half, 24-21.
That would be the last lead of the game for Cal State Northridge. A 25-13 run gave the Dukes a 46-39 halftime lead.
Cal State Northridge cut the lead to five points, 48-43, with 18:28 remaining the game, but the Matadors could never get any closer. With 1:05 remaining in the game, Duquesne enjoyed its biggest lead of the game, 97-72.
Cal State Northridge's depth showed its talent again despite the loss. Rodrigue Mels played 20 minutes in a reserve role and responded with a season-high 18 points. Tremaine Townsend recorded his third straight double-double of the season with ten points and ten rebounds. Townsend also added four steals in 26 minutes off the bench.
The Matadors outrebounded Duquesne, 45-37 (18-9 advantage in offensive rebounds). CSUN also recorded a season-high six blocks. The Matadors hit 15-of-17 free throw attempts, a season-best.
The loss dropped the Matadors to 4-1 while Duquesne is 6-0.
Saturday at 3:00 p.m. (pt), Cal State Northridge will face North Carolina Central (1-8) in the consolation game.
The game will be broadcast on the internet at www.gomatadors.com with Alan Zinsmeister and Bob Vazquez handling the broadcast duties. The game will also be available via video streaming on the Drake website (www.godrakebulldogs.edu).
Matador Minute ...
Happy birthday to Matador broadcaster Alan Zinsmeister who turned 52 years-old on Friday ... Jonathan Heard now has 392 career field goals, and is nearing the tenth position all-time at Cal State Northridge ... That spot is held by Mark Cooley (1964-67, 394) ... With six free throw attempts against Duquesne, Heard now has 404 in his career to move past Mark Cooley (19964-67, 399) into ninth place all-time at Cal State Northridge ... Heard now has 68 career starts which moves him into sole possession of tenth place all-time at CSUN ... With three blocks against Duquesne, Calvin Chitwood now has 44 career blocks to move him past Shane O'Doherty (1993-95, 43) into fifth place all-time at CSUN ... The weather in Des Moines is going to get a bit rough .... Freezing rain, sleet and snow are expected on Saturday.