Nov. 30, 2009
FOR STARTERS After a grueling five-game road trip to open the season, the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team (2-3, 0-0 Big West) opens the home season Monday, Nov. 30 against the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (1-2). Northridge concluded play at the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off last week as the Matadors split a pair of games in Bowliong Green, Ky. Northridge dropped a 68-67 heartbreaker in the final seconds against Western Kentucky on Monday night before bounding back to defeat Coastal Carolina 76-69 on Tuesday. The season-opening homestand concludes on Thursday as the Matadors host former Big West rivals, the Idaho Vandals in The Matadome at 7 p.m. Northridge then heads to the Northwest to take on Washington on Dec. 6.
THE LAST TIME OUT ..... Senior forward Willie Galick put Cal State Northridge (2-3) on his shoulders in the second half as he scored 15 of his career-high 26 points as the Matadors defeated Coastal Carolina 76-69 to earn a split in the four-game Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off. Northridge, which split two games last week in Tempe, Ariz., finished 1-1 in the consolation bracket at E.A. Diddle Arena on the Western Kentucky campus. The Matadors could have come away with two wins but fell in the final seconds to the host Hilltoppers on Monday night. Galick, who's previous scoring high at Cal State Northridge was 19, eclipsed that with a stellar second half that saw him convert all six of his shots from the field and three-of-five free throws. He also added a team-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Fellow senior Kenny Daniels overcame a slow start to post double figures for the first time this season as he scored 13 points in 22 minutes. Juniors Lenny Daniel and Raymond Cody also reached double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively. Daniel also grabbed a career-high eight rebounds for the Matadors in the win.
FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM The Matadors have added plenty of miles to their frequent flyer program just two weeks into the 2009-10 season. Northridge flew 2,113 miles in traveling to Purdue for the season opener. The Matadors then added 1,727 miles traveling from West Lafayette, Ind. to Tempe, Ariz., before completing the trip with 408 miles from Tempe to Los Angeles. Last week, Northridge added 3,694 round-trip miles in flying to and from Kentucky for a grand total of 7,942 air miles over the first five games of the season. The Matadors will enjoy the comforts of home for two games this week (CSU Bakersfield and Idaho) before heading back out for a two-game trip to Washington (Dec. 6) and Denver (Dec. 8).
MATADORS IN HOME OPENERS Monday's game against CSU Bakersfield marks The Matadome regular season debut for the Matadors. Northridge, which defeated Cal Lutheran (88-67) and The Master's College (78-61) in their only two exhibition outings at home, brings a 30-10 (.750) home record over the last three seasons into Monday's opener. In 51 seasons, the Matadors are 38-13 (.745) in home openers and are an even more impressive 12-1 (.923) in home openers under Bobby Braswell. The only loss in a home opener under Braswell came in 2001-02 when Nevada knocked off the Matadors 85-75. Undoubtedly, the largest margin of victory came in the 2006-07 home opener when Northridge scored a school record 159 points in a 157-97 win over the University of Redlands.
52ND SEASON OF NORTHRIDGE BASKETBALL The 2009-10 season marks the 52nd season of Cal State Northridge basketball. Since the program's inception in 1958-59, the Matadors have posted an all-time record of 677-716 (.486). In 1990-91, Northridge made the move to Division I and has since posted a record of 259-292 (.471).
MATADORS ON THE NET Both home games this week will be broadcast live at GoMatadors.com and IBSU.net. Regular play-by-play man Bill Courtland will return to the Matador broadcast table this week when Northridge returns home on Nov. 30 to host CSU Bakersfield. Courtland will be joined by analyst Alan Zinsmeister.
NORTHRIDGE ON THE TUBE The Matadors will make five (possibly seven) regular season television appearances during the 2009-10 season. Northridge will make its Fox Sports debut on Dec. 6 when the Matadors take on the Washington Huskies on FSN Northwest. The Northridge-Colorado contest on Dec. 22 will be on FSN Rocky Mountain before the Matadors will make three (possibly five) appearances as part of the Big West television package. Northridge will appear on FSN West on Feb. 6 (at Long Beach State), Feb. 17 (Cal Poly) and Feb. 27 (at UC Irvine). The Matadors could also be selected among wild card games on Jan. 30 and Feb. 24.
GALICK POSTS CAREER NIGHT VS. COASTAL CAROLINA Senior Willie Galick (F, 6-8, 225, Nanaimo, BC) collected four double-doubles in his first season as a Matador in 2008-09. After five games this season, the forward from Nanaimo, British Columbia by way of Pepperdine, has one double-double but it may have been his most impressive. Galick awed the crowd at E.A. Diddle Arena with an impressive display of shooting and rebounding against Coastal Carolina. He finished the night 11-for-13 from the field for a career-high 26 points to go with a season-high 10 rebounds. Several of Galick's points came from close-range including a couple of rim-rattling dunks. His previous best in terms of scoring was 19 against UC Irvine last season and his previous best in made field goals was seven on two occasions. Galick now ranks second on the Matadors in scoring at 12.8 ppg and is the teams' leading rebounder at 5.0 per game.
DANIELS PICKS UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF Senior Kenny Daniels (G/F, 6-4, 210, St. Louis, Mo.) has picked up where he left off following the Matadors' NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008-09. Daniels, who was named the Matadors' Most Improved Player by his coaches after last season, is leading Northridge with a 16.6 ppg scoring average after five games. He scored in double figures in 12 of Northridge's final 17 games last season, including a season-high 24 at UC Davis on Mar. 5. After five contests this season, Daniels has posted double figures in all five games and poured in a career-high 27 in the Matadors' inaugural win of the season over Texas State on Nov. 17.
HILL REGAINS FORM AT WESTERN KENTUCKY Senior guard Mark Hill (G, 5-11, 175, Los Angeles, Calif.) enjoyed his finest game of the season in the Matadors' last second 68-67 loss to Western Kentucky on Nov. 23. Hill, who did not record a single assist in Northridge first two games of the season, had a season-high five assists, to go with 11 points, against the Hilltoppers. He finished the night 3-for-6 from the floor (2-for-5 from three-point range) and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line. He also collected a pair of rebounds and had two steals and just two turnovers in a season-high 26 minutes. For the season, Hill ranks third on the team with eight assists (1.6 per game) and has a team-best eight steals while averaging 5.2 points per contest.
STARTING LINEUP SOLIDIFIED Since inserting Dathan Lyles, Raymond Cody and Michael Lizarraga into the starting lineup, the Matadors have won two of three games. The trio, along with seniors Kenny Daniels and Willie Galick, started the Texas State win and if not for a one-point loss at Western Kentucky, would be a perfect 3-0. Daniels and Galick are the only two players to have started all five games for the Matadors this season. Cody has scored in double figures in two of the three games he has started, including a season-high 12 points against Texas State. Lizarraga is averaging 3.67 rebounds per games since joining the starting five and had a career-high seven boards against Western Kentucky.
SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS The Roadrunners bring an overall record of 1-2 into Monday's game at The Matadome. CSUB opened its season with an 84-81 loss at home to Santa Clara before defeating Utah Valley University 58-51. The Runners then dropped an 11-point decision at UCLA on Nov. 20. Senior forward Trent Blakley leads CSUB in scoring at 17.7 points per game while senior forward Santwon Latunde (14.7) and freshman guard Stephon Carter (12.0) each add double figure scoring after three games.
SERIES HISTORY The Matadors and Roadrunners have played to a 20-20 tie in the all-time series that dates back to 1973. The two schools met each season from 1973-1990 when both schools were members of the California Collegiate Athletic Associaton but did not play a single game from 1990 until 2007. The Matadors have won two of the three games (both at home) since renewing the series.
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