Cal State Northridge Wins Sixth Game - 76-64 over Utah Valley State
Northridge, Ca - Calvin Chitwood and Tremaine Townsend combined for 26 points and 25 rebounds to help propel the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team to a hard-earned 76-64 victory over a tough Utah Valley University team on Wednesday night at The Matadome.
Chitwood earned his second double-double of the season with 15 points and eleven rebounds, and added to his all-around great evening with three blocks, a steal and an assist in 32 minutes of play. Townsend produced his fourth double-double in the last five games, once again coming off the bench to score eleven points and a game-high 14 rebounds. The co-Player of the Week in the Big West Conference added two steals and an assist in 29 minutes.
"We're just continuing to work hard and getting good results," said Townsend.
Depth continues to be an important factor in the team's fast start at 6-1. Deon Tresvant came off the bench to score 14 points (4-for-9 from three-point territory) in 24 minutes of play. Josh Jenkins, who had been a key reserve in the first six games, made his first start of the season at point-guard and responded with eleven points and six assists in 25 minutes.
Jenkins echoed the sentiments of Townsend. "We work hard in practice, and the hard work is paying off. This team has good team unity and good team chemistry. It is showing in our record (6-1) and on the court."
Cal State Northridge led 25-22 with 8:27 left in the first half, and then exploded for an 11-0 run in the next four minutes. Defense played a major role, according to Townsend. "Our defense was real good and we were able to convert our shots on offense."
The lead was later extended to 15 points, 42-27, with 1:46 in the first half.
However, Utah Valley, which had lost two overtime games, and had only lost by eleven points (66-55) at eleventh-ranked Marquette, made a valiant comeback in the second half. The Wolverines pulled to within three points, 50-47, with 11:55 to play, but a 12-1 run by the Matadors built the lead back to 14 points, 62-48, with 9:25 left.
Back came Utah Valley which cut the CSUN margin to five points, 63-58, with 6:25 left. But key baskets by Cal State Northridge upped the margin to double-digits, 71-60, with 1:38 to play, and the Matadors eventually won, 76-64.
"This was a tough team (Utah Valley) to play against," said head coach Bobby Braswell. "They are a physical team, they play a zone defense which means you have to make your shots. For us, this was a good test. We have played against every style of basketball that you can possibly play against so far this year."
The victory sets the stage for Saturday's big game at nationally-ranked Gonzaga. It will be CSUN's biggest game in years and the Matadors will be prepared.
"We expect the crowd to be loud," said Townsend, "but we'll work hard in practice and give it all we got."
Tipoff is slated fo 5:00 p.m. at the soldout McCarthey Athletic Center.
"Gonzaga is a very talented team, and we are going to have to play perfect basketball to beat them," said Braswell. "It will be a good test for us this early in the season. It will be a tough environment in Spokane and it will be a great experience for us. One thing I've learned about this group (CSUN) is that they will show up and compete."
Gonzaga will be coming off a rare loss at home. On Wednesday night, the Bulldogs lost a 51-47 decision to unbeaten and sixth-ranked Washington State. Gonzaga is 7-2.