Momentum, School Spirit Rising for Cal State Northridge Basketball Team

Feb. 9, 2011

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Northridge Notes Two games against CSUN's biggest rival (Cal State Fullerton) and a meeting between first place Long Beach State and second place Cal State Northridge highlight this week's men's basketball schedule for the Matadors ... Momentum is certainly in favor of CSUN ... The Matadors have won five of their last seven games to increase their Big West record to 6-4, good for a second place tie in the conference along with Cal Poly ... During that seven-game journey, the Matadors have improved on both ends of the floor ... Cal State Northridge is shooting .509 from the floor, .420 from 3-point territory, has outrebounded its opponent by nearly four rebounds per game, scored 76.3 ppg while holding its opponents to only 70.3 ppg ... The Cal State Northridge defense has held its opponents to only .377 shooting and .291 from behind the arc ... The largest crowd of the season is expected on Saturday night (2/12/11) when Cal State Northridge hosts Long Beach State ... The recent seven-game momentum swing began on Jan. 15, 2011, when Cal State Northridge defeated Cal State Fullerton, 89-65, at The Matadome ... Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond Va) led the Matadors with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Freshman Focus
*** Several freshmen are getting their chance to get sizable minutes on the court ... Josh Greene (6-0, 175, Freshman, Guard, Lakeview Terrace, Ca) has averaged 19.8 minutes per game (198 minutes) in his last ten games ... Greene has responded by averaging 8.8 ppg (88 points) and shooting .431 (25-for-54) from the floor during that span ... Greene scored 17 points against UC Riverside (1/13/11), 14 points against Cal Poly (1/22/11) and 13 points vs UC Irvine (2/5/11) ... Jordan Mitchell (6-8, 185, Freshman, Forward, Gardena, Ca) has started the last seven games ... Mitchell collected a season-high five rebounds in his last game vs UC Irvine (2/5/11) and had a season-high three blocks against Seattle (1/19/11) ... Aqeel Quinn (6-4, 190, Freshman, Guard, Lawndale, Ca) has averaged 7.0 ppg (49 points) in his last seven games ... During that span, Quinn has hit 12-of-21 shots (.571), 6-for-9 (.667) from behind the arc, is 16-for-18 (.889) from the charity line, dished out 15 assists and grabbed ten rebounds ... In his last game, Quinn tallied season-highs in points (12) and assists (7) vs UC Irvine (2/5/11) ... Frankie Eteuati (6-10, 185, Freshman, Center, Los Angeles, Ca) has blocked six shots in the last six games.

Conference Chatter
*** Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) is #1 in the Big West field goal percentage (.587, #4 for a single season in school history), third in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and blocks (27, 1.17 bpg) and fourth in scoring (16.1 ppg) ... Daniel has grabbed ten or more rebounds in 13 games, including a career-high 15 boards at Air Force (12/2/109).
*** Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) has 12 double-doubles (points-rebounds) this year, second-best in the Big West Conference behind Sam Willard of Pacific with 14.
*** Dathan Lyles (5-11, 175, Senior, Guard, Lima, Oh) is #4 in assists (3.91 apg) ... In four games, Lyles has dished out seven or more assists, including a career-high nine against Vanguard (11/20/10) and against Cal State Fullerton (1/15/11).
*** Vinnie McGhee (5-10, 165, Junior, Guard, Oakland, Ca) is tenth in the BWC in three-pointers made (39, 1.70 pg).
*** Rashaun McLemore (6-5, 205, Senior, G/F, Richmond, Va) is seventh in the league in scoring (15.8 ppg).
*** Frankie Eteuati (6-10, 185, Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) is sixth in the BWC in blocks (19) at 0.90 per game ... Eteuati blocked a season-high three blocks in games against DePaul (11/26/10), at Air Force (122/2/10) and at UC Irvine (1/27/11).
*** Cal State Northridge is ranked #2 in the Big West Conference in field goal percentage (.459).
*** Cal State Northridge is ranked #3 in the Big West Conference in scoring (71.9 ppg) and blocked shots (3.57 bpg)

Lenny's Ledger
*** Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) has moved to the top of the scoring charts for Cal State Northridge ... After scoring only two points and shooting 0-for-12 from the floor in the first two games of the year, Daniel upped his season average from 1.0 ppg in the first two games to 16.1 ppg (#4 in the BWC).
*** Daniel is shooting .587 (123-for-211) from the floor, #1 in the Big West Conference and fourth-best in school history.
*** Daniel is now third in the Big West Conference in rebounding at 9.3 per game.
*** Daniel has recorded eleven double-doubles in his last 17 games ... Against Cal Lutheran (12/7/10), Daniel tied his career-high in points (31) and field goals (15-for-18) along with 13 rebounds and three blocks.
*** Daniel has recorded 20 double-doubles in two seasons (12 in 2010-11, 8 in 2009-10) at Cal State Northridge.
*** The superb performance by Daniel at the recent 76 Classic in Anaheim netted the senior forward Big West Player of the Week honors ... Daniel averaged 20.7 points (#2 in the tournament) and led all rebounders (10.3 rpg) during the three-game tournament that featured a high quality field of eight teams, five of whom competed in NCAA or NIT post-season competition last year ... In helping Cal State Northridge to an 86-66 victory over DePaul (11/26/10) of the Big East Conference, Daniel scored a career-high 31 points (11-for-15 from the floor) along with a game-high ten rebounds ... The 31 points scored by Daniel against DePaul were the most points scored by any player in the 76 Classic, and the third-best scoring effort in the four-year history of the tournament ... The 31-point, ten-rebound performance against DePaul also gave Cal State Northridge its first victory over a Big East school in the 53-year history of Matador history ... In the first game of the 76 Classic, Daniel collected 13 rebounds against Virginia Tech (11/25/10), the most by any player in the 76 Classic ... In the final game of the 76 Classic on Sunday, Daniel scored 24 points (9-for-12 from the floor) along with eight rebounds and two blocks against Tulsa ... Daniel was outstanding from the field at the 76 Classic, hitting 23-of-36 shots for .639.
*** Daniel has blocked 29 shots (#3 in the BWC, 1.17 bpg) this year to give him 71 for his career, third-best in school history ... Only Thomas Shewmake (82, 2003-07) and Brian Heinle (76, 1997-01) stand in the way of Daniel getting the school record. Shewamake got the school record in 117 games (4 seasons) while Heinle took 119 games (4 seasons) to get his 76 career blocks ... Daniel has played only 52 career games (2009-10, 2010-11) to obtain his 71 career blocks.
*** Daniel has a career rebound average of 8.5 boards per game which is currently ninth-best in school history.

Schedule Saga
*** Challenging is always the trademark of the CSUN basketball schedule, and this year is no exception.
*** CSUN started the year with two games against Pac-10 schools at UCLA (L, 53-80, 11/12/10) and at Cal (L, 63-80, 11/16/10).
*** In Bobby Braswell's previous 14 years as head coach at CSUN, the Matadors have scheduled at least one Pac-10 school in 13 of those years ... The Pac-10 opponents have included ASU, Cal, Oregon, Oregon St, Stanford, UCLA, UCLA, Washington and Washington State.
*** CSUN competed against national notables Virginia Tech (L, 56-72, 11/25/10), DePaul (W, 88-66, 11/26/10) and Tulsa (L, 63-80, 11/28/10) in the 76 Classic (11/25 to 11/28/10) at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Television Tale
*** Five Cal State Northridge men's basketball games will appear on ESPN's family of networks and Fox Sports Net.
*** CSUN's game at Denver (12/4/10) was televised on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.
*** CSUN's three games (Virginia Tech, DePaul, Tulsa) at the 76 Classic (Nov. 25-28) were televised live on ESPNU.
*** One Big West Conference game was televised on Fox Sports Net (Prime) ... That game was CSUN's home contest against Cal Poly on Saturday, January 22.

Fullerton Forecast
*** Cal State Fullerton is 9-15 overall and 5-6 in the Big West Conference ... The Titans are 7-3 at Titan Gym ... Four players aveage in double figures led by Jer-Vaughn Johnson (6-6, 240, RS Senior, Forward, Compton, Ca) at 14.5 ppg, Devon Peltier (5-11, 185, Senior, Guard, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) at 13.5 ppg, Orane Chin (6-7, 195, RS Juninor, Miramar, Fl) at 12.8 ppg and Andre Hardy (6-6, 230, Junior, Forward, San Diego, Ca) at 11.6 ppg ... Johnson is shooting .578 from the floor, #2 in the Big West Conference behind CSUN's Lenny Daniel (.587) ... Hardy leds Cal State Fullerton is rebouding at 9.0 boards per game ... Peltier leads the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.904) ... Perry Webster (6-1, 195, Junior, Guard, Mission Viejo, Ca.) is second in the conference in assists (.5.09 apg).

Series Story
*** Cal State Fullerton leads the series with Cal State Northridge, 35-27 ... However, the Matadors have won the last three games at Titan Gym, home of Cal State Fullerton ... Last year (1/16/10) at CSF, Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Matadors to a 78-72 victory ... Earlier this season (1/15/11), Daniel scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Matadors to a 89-65 victory over Cal State Fullerton at the Matadome ... CSUN shot .556 compared to .365 for the Titans ... Cal State Northridge outrebounded the Titans, 41-to-29.

Close Calls
*** Over the last two seasons, CSUN has played in 12 games (3-9) decided by three points or less ... CSUN has played in six one-point games (1-5) during that span. *** Go figure ... CSUN lost to Air Force (63-72, 12/2/10)) despite the fact they scored more baskets (23-to-21) and outrebounded the Falcons (49-to-30), lost to Denver (63-66, 12/4/10) despite the fact CSUN scored more baskets (18-to-15) and outrebounded Denver (31-to-22), and lost at Seattle (1/8/11) despite holding the Redhawks to only 37 percent shooting, 21 percent from behind the arc, and forcing Seattle into 20 turnovers ... In a rematch game against Seattle (1/19/11), the Matadors held the Redhawks to .349 shooting and .133 from behind the arc but lost 75-68.

Final Facts
*** For the first time in the 53-year history of Cal State Northridge basketball, the Matadors scored a win over a Big East school when they scored a 88-66 win over DePaul (11/26/10).
*** Lenny Daniel, Dathan Lyles & Rashaun McLemore are serving as team captains this year.
*** With nine new players, including seven freshmen, on the 15-man CSUN roster in 2010-11, this is the youngest team head coach Bobby Braswell will coach as he is in the midst of his 15th season as head coach at Cal State Northridge ... CSUN only has nine years of NCAA season experience, three of those seasons by senior Michael Lizarraga ... Only UC Riverside (7 years) have a younger Big West Conference team than Cal State Northridge.
*** Cal State Northridge has employed nine different starting lineups in 23 games this year.
*** The Matadors, thus far, feature one of the top 1-2 scoring combinations in the Big West Conference ... Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) is averaging 16.1 ppg (#4 in the BWC) while Rashaun McLemore (6-5, 2-5. Senior, G/F, Richmond, Va) checks in at 15.8 ppg (#7 in the league) ... The combined scoring total of 31.9 ppg by Daniel and McLemore is the highest 1-2 Cal State Northridge scoring combination since the 2000-01 season when Brian Heinle averaged 20.2 ppg and John Burrell checked in at 14.6 ppg.
*** Four of CSUN's nine wins have been by 22 points or more.

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