Nationally-ranked Gonzaga Hands Cal State Northridge 85-59 defeat in Spokane
Spokane, Wa - A sold out crowd (6,000) against one of the nation's elite basketball teams on their home court is difficult for so many visiting teams to Gonzaga's McCarthey Athletic Center.
Since the opening of Gonzaga's new facility three years ago, the Bulldogs are 42-2. Make that 43-2 after the 17th-ranked Bulldogs dismantled the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team, 85-59, on Saturday night.
Cal State Northridge, which had led the Big West in rebounding, couldn't handle the physical nature of the game, losing the rebounding margin, 29-50.
That proved to be a pivotal statistic as Gonzaga raised its season record to 8-2. The Matadors fell to 6-2.
"It all came down to one thing - toughness," said head coach Bobby Braswell. "We got exposed from a toughness standout. You're not going to win many games when you get outrebounded, 50-29."
The Matadors allowed Gonzaga to shoot 52 percent in the first half. That allowed the Bulldogs to take a 45-30 halftime lead. The Bulldogs allowed the Matadors only eleven first half rebounds compared to their 26. In the next second half, the Matadors held Gonzaga to only 39 percent shooting, but the 15-point halftime Bulldog lead was too much to overcome.
Despite the fact that Calvin Chitwood received two early fouls, the senior all-conference candidate managed to score eleven points (5-for-8 from the floor), grab three rebounds and block two shots in 28 minutes of play.
Once again, Deon Tresvant came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points (6-for-10 from the floor, 3-for-6 from three-point territory) in 26 minutes. Rob Haynes hit 3-of-5 from behind the arc en route to eleven points.
Tremaine Townsend led Matador rebounders with seven.
Despite the loss, the environment of playing in a front of a large, sold out, hostile crowd against an NCAA Tournament team will give the Matadors valuable experience later in the season.
"We have to learn that no matter what the environment is, we have to play together and we have to let our game plan work," said Braswell, "and that we can't play as individuals. You just don't show up. There is a reason why this team (Gonzaga) is as good as they are. They have a great environment with their fan base and the support that they get. That's why we scheduled this game. It's an opportunity to learn. Now we'll take some time off for finals, try to get it together, and get ready for Vanguard (Dec. 20, 7:00 p.m.).
Matador Minute ...
With eleven points against Gonzaga, senior all-conference candidate Calvin Chitwood is inching closer to the 1,000 point mark ... Chitwood now has 988 points in his four-year Matador career ... Chitwood has now started 71 career game at CSUN which moves him into a ninth place tie with Brian Heinle (1997-01) ... With nine free throw attempts against the Bulldogs, senior all-conference candidate Jonathan Heard now has 422 in his career to move past Ollie Carter (1964-66, 416) into eighth place all-time at Cal State Northridge ... Heard played 22 minutes and now has 2,424 minutes in his four-year Matador career to move past Jeff Parris (1997-01, 2,414) into ninth all-time at Cal State Northridge.