Dec. 3, 2009
FOR STARTERS The Cal State Northridge men's basketball team (3-3, 0-0 Big West) concludes its brief two-game homestand on Thursday (Dec. 3) as the Matadors host the Idaho Vandals (4-1, 0-0 WAC) in The Matadome at 7 p.m. The Matadors, who have won three of their last four games after opening the season with consecutive losses, defeated CSU Bakersfield 81-74 in their home opener on Monday night. Northridge wraps up a busy week on Sunday as the Matadors head to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Washington Huskies. The trip to Seattle opens up a stretch where Northridge will play five of its next six games on the road. The lone home contest over the next month will be Dec. 18 against Drexel.
THE LAST TIME OUT ..... Vinnie McGhee came off the bench to score 19 points to lead Cal State Northridge to an 81-74 comeback victory over CSU Bakersfield in a non-conference game on Monday night at The Matadome. McGhee, a redshirt sophomore, hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor, including three 3-pointers in five attempts in 23 minutes. Senior forward Kenny Daniels added 16 points, including 8-of-9 free throws. Four of those free throws came in the final seconds to help seal the win for the Matadors. Lenny Daniel also played well for the Matadors with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Donavan Bragg led the Roadrunners with 26 points and Stephon Carter added 15 points and 11 rebounds. It was 62-62 with 7:37 left before things got really interesting. With CSUB holding a 64-62 lead with 6:37 remaining on the clock, McGhee went to work hitting two straight three-pointers to give the Matadors a 68-64 lead with 6:06 remaining. Cal State Northridge led 74-70 with 49 seconds on the clock. A free throw by Willie Galick gave the Matadors a 75-70 lead. Galick missed his first second free throw, but Kenny Daniels grabbed the rebound and was fouled resulting in two made free throws to give CSUN a 77-70 lead. Daniels later added two more free throws to give CSUN a 79-72 lead. Daniels sealed the victory with a dunk shot with 13 seconds remaining.
FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM After a brief two-game homestand, the Matadors will add to their ever-increasing amount of air miles this weekend. Having already flown 7,942 miles over the first month of the season, Northridge will fly to Seattle, Wash., for Sunday's game against Washington then continue on to Colorado to take on Denver next Tuesday, Dec. 8. Northridge opened the season with a 2,113-mile trip to Purdue and then added 1,727 miles traveling from West Lafayette, Ind. to Tempe, Ariz. Last week, Northridge added 3,694 round-trip miles in flying to and from Kentucky for a grand total of 11,421 air miles over the first month and a half of the season.
MATADORS IMPROVE TO 39-13 IN HOME OPENERS With Monday's 81-74 victory over CSU Bakersfield, the Matadors improved to 39-13 (.750) all-time in home openers. The win also improved Northridge's record in home openers to 13-1 (.929) 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. The Matadors are now 31-10 (.756) at home over the last three seasons.
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 680-719 (.486). In 1990-91, Northridge made the move to Division I and has since posted a record of 262-295 (.470).
MATADORS ON THE NET All home games and select road games will be broadcast live at GoMatadors.com and IBSU.net. Bill Courtland, who enters his fourth season with the Matadors, serves as the primary voice of Northridge men's basketball. Courtland's previous work has included stints with the Northridge women's basketball team (2005-06), three seasons as Director of Broadcasting for the Long Beach Ice Dogs Hockey team, national championship coverage for USA Hockey and various sports at Cal Lutheran University. Courtland has also broadcast local sports events at the high school and community college levels via his own Internet radio station www.ibsu.net. Also working selected games this season is Alan Zinsmeister, a veteran of Northridge men's basketball broadcasts. Zinsmeister will handle selected road contests and will work alongside Courtland during many home games. Zinsmeister is in his sixth season broadcasting Matador basketball. Cal State Northridge does not have an over-the-air radio package for the 2006-07 season.
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 HOT AND COLD OVER LAST TWO GAMES After wowing the crowd at Western Kentucky's E.A. Diddle Arena with an impressive display of shooting and rebounding against Coastal Carolina, senior Willie Galick (F, 6-8, 225, Nanaimo, BC) came back to earth a bit against CSU Bakersfield. Galick finished the night 11-for-13 from the field (which included a couple of rim-rattling dunks) for a career-high 26 points to go with a then season-high 10 rebounds against Coastal Carolina. His scoring eclipsed his previous high of 19 against UC Irvine last season. On Monday against Bakersfield however he continued his prowess on the boards with a season-high 12 (one off his career-high) but struggled through a 1-for-12 shooting performance which dropped him from the Big West lead in field goal percentage to seventh. Galick, shooting 58.1% for the season, still ranks second on the Matadors in scoring at 12.2 ppg and also ranks second in rebounding at 6.2 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 in scoring at 16.5 points per game. 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 six contests this season, Daniels has posted double figures in all six games and poured in a career-high 27 in the Matadors' inaugural win of the season over Texas State on Nov. 17. He kept his double-figure streak alive mainly from the foul line where he converted 8-of-9 against Bakersfield on Monday to finish with 16 points.
DANIEL, MCGHEE PROVE TO BE HUGE CONTRIBUTERS OFF THE BENCH Junior Lenny Daniel (F, 6-7, 210, Richmond, Va.) and redshirt-sophomore Vinnie McGhee (G, 6-0, 165, R-So., Oakland, Calif.) came up big for the Matadors off the bench in the 81-74 win over CSU Bakersfield on Monday. As a team, Northridge outscored the Roadrunner bench 38-5 led by McGhee's 18 points. McGhee was the first Matador since Rodrigue Mels last March to lead Northridge in scoring off the bench. The redshirt-sophomore, who played a season-high 24 minutes with starter Mark Hill in foul trouble, converted 7-of-11 shots, including three treys, to go with three assists and one steal. Daniel matched his season-high with 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting and also grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds (five on the offensive end) in a season-high 29 minutes. The one blemish on Daniel's line was at the free throw line where the junior made just 2-of-6 and now just a shade over 50% for the season at 15-for-29.
NORTHRIDGE NOTES Senior Therin Taylor also played a solid 14 minutes off the bench against CSUB. Taylor made a couple of key steals in his first minutes in the game which sparked the Matadors on a 22-2 run. Taylor also grabbed a season-high five rebounds in the win ... Junior Michael Lizarraga has started the last four games for Northridge and the Matadors are now 3-1 in those contests ... Senior Mark Hill was held without an assist on Monday, the third time this season he has come up empty in assists.
SCOUTING THE VANDALS The Vandals are 4-1 on the season heading into Thursday's game. Idaho's only loss in its first five games came at Texas Southern 72-65. The Vandals own an impressive 94-87 victory at Utah and defeated Eastern Washington 76-54 their last time out. Senior Steffan Johnson, a transfer from Pacific, leads Idaho in scoring at 14.8 per game. Senior Mac Hopson (12.2), a Washington State transfer, and sophomore Luiz Toledo (10.4) are also averaging double figures for the Vandals.
SERIES HISTORY Thursday's game marks the 10th meeting all-time between Cal State Northridge and Idaho. The Matadors hold a slim 5-4 edge in the series which dates back to 2001. The two schools met each season from 2001-2005 when Idaho was a member of the Big West Conference. The Matadors are 2-2 all-time against the Vandals in Northridge. Idaho won the last meeting 78-75 on Feb. 21, 2009 in Moscow as part of ESPN BracketBuster Saturday.
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