Box Score - CSUN vs Southern Utah
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications
Northridge, Calif. – The scoreboard clock high above the Matadome basketball court read 14:19 in the first half.
Time for some history at the Matadome.
Stephan Hicks entered Tuesday night's game against Southern Utah University needing two points to become the 17th player in the 55-year history of Matador basketball to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
CSUN ran its motion offense, found Hicks in the corner along the baseline. With no defensive pressure, Hicks went full speed ahead along the baseline to the basket where he then attracted a trio of red jersey's from Southern Utah. Hicks collided with a SUU player. The whistle blew. Hicks had created two free throw attempts following the Thunderbird foul.
Hicks rarely misses from the charity stripe. A career .807 free throw shooter (seventh-best in school history), Hicks canned the first free throw to garner his 999th career point in just his third season at CSUN.
Now for some Matador history. Hicks calmly nestled the basketball into the net to pick up his 1,000th career point. In the 55-year history of Matador basketball, 421 players have worn Matador uniforms. Only 17 have scored 1,000 or more points.
Stephan Hicks has now moved into exclusive territory.
An appreciative crowd knew the special moment had arrived. Hicks knew the significance of the moment. But Hicks has the right perspective. He appreciated the crowd's positive response.
"This means a lot," Hicks told reporters in the press conference. "I have been extremely blessed to have the opportunity to play Division I basketball. I have been thankful for all the help I've gotten from the coaches since I arrived at CSUN. I just want to continue to be humble, work hard in practice and be a good teammate."
Hicks, the Big West Conference scoring leader (19.0 ppg), finished the evening with 20 points and five rebounds, and along with Stephen Maxwell who scored a career-high 27 points along with a game-high 13 rebounds, the Matadors raced to a convincing 84-57 verdict over Southern Utah University in a non-league men's basketball game on Tuesday night at the Matadome.
Hicks now has 1,018 career points. With a career scoring average of nearly 16 points per game, Hicks is now on pace to become CSUN's all-time leading scorer with approximately 1,987 points. Brian Heinle (1997-01), a member of the CSUN Hall of Fame, holds the career points record with 1,641 points.
"As long as Stephan (Hicks) plays hard, I'm going to get him the ball," remarked Matador head coach Reggie Theus. "For us to be successful, he needs to be offense minded."
Hicks' offensive scoring prowess has been well chronicled, but defense is also a growing specialty in his portfolio. Hicks is among the league leaders in rebounding. Hicks will end his career as one of the all-time great rebounders in school history.
"Stephan takes a lot of pride in his defense," said Theus. "He takes a lot of pride in being in the right place at the right time defensively. He works hard at it."
The 27-point win gave Theus an opportunity to give his bench ample playing time. Entering the game against Southern Utah, three Matador starters were averaging more than 31 minutes per game.
"That was a goal … play my starters less than 30 minutes," said Theus. "It's important for the morale of the (entire) team to get its minutes."
Aaron Parks collected 14 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Trevone Williams earned 21 minutes in a reserve role to garner a season-high eleven points and six rebounds.
Cal State Northridge led the entire game. Maxwell, who scored 21 of his 27 points in the first half, collected on CSUN's first eight points. The Thunderbirds were able to tie the game at 12-12 with 13:10 before intermission but another Maxwell basket and a three-pointer by Josh Greene gave the home team a 17-12 lead.
"Maxwell just plays hard," said Theus. "He has done a great about what we need. Teams are going to start double-teaming him so his game needs to continue to evolve. Tonight he was very patient."
Cal State Northridge led by as many as 19 points, 43-24, with 1:30 before halftime.
At halftime, CSUN led, 45-28.
CSUN's biggest margin in the game was 32 points, 80-48, with 4:16 remaining.
"We're building, every game is a building block" said Theus as he surveyed the box score that included 50 percent shooting, a decisive edge in rebounding (48-to-26), and 20 assists.
"We've made a lot of strides to get better in a lot of different areas. We executed the game plan pretty well. Defensively, we caused them (Southern Utah) some problems. Because we rebounded the ball so well, we were able to run. We had 16 fast-break points along with 44 points in the paint. We shared the ball tonight with 20 assists."
Cal State Northridge, 5-4, hosts Seattle University on Thursday (Dec. 5). Game time at the Matadome is 7:05 pm.
Matador Memo …
Earlier this season, Josh Greene became the 16th player in school history to garner 1,000 or more points … Greene, a senior guard, now has 1,111 points, 12th best in school history … Greene has now played in 99 games in four seasons at CSUN … Cal State Northridge has added its second walk on to give the Matadors 12 players on the 2013-14 roster … Kevin Rutledge is a 6-foot-4, 198-pound freshman guard/forward from Westchester High School who played one minute to get one rebound in his first collegiate experience.