Northridge, Calif. – Home Sweet Home, Home Cooking, Homeward Bound!!!
After an exhausting road trip that saw Cal State Northridge earn extensive frequent flier miles traveling from USC, to Hawai'I and then to Boise State, the Matadors returned home to its friendly fans and its cozy home court, the Matadome, and the result was certainly sweet.
Cal State Northridge treated its fans with a home feast, just two days before Thanksgiving with a convincing 95-68 victory over San Diego Christian on Tuesday night.
The victory earned the Matadors its first victory of the 2011-12 campaign.
"Coming back from a tough road trip to play before family, friends, our fans and the students … that was a positive for us," said Matador head coach Bobby Braswell.
All 14 Matador players on the active roster earned playing time with six players earning double-digit points. Josh Greene and Stephan Hicks each picked up a game-high 20 points. For Greene, it was a career-high while Hicks scored 20 or more points for a third straight game. Greene added a career-high eight assists. Hicks added a game-high nine rebounds.
Vinnie McGhee continued to score in double-digits for the fourth straight game. The senior guard powered in 13 points along with five assists. Freshman guard Allan Guei also added 13 points along with career-highs in assists (6) and steals (4).
Thomas Jacobs and Ari Feldman each scored ten points.
As a team, Cal State Northridge tallied 21 assists with only nine turnovers. The Matadors also collected 13 steals.
Cal State Northridge, the top-ranked team in the Big West Conference in free throw shooting percentage, again demonstrated its strength from the charity stripe, hitting 24-of-29 free throw attempts. Guei was perfect from the free throw line, 9-for-9.
Cal State Northridge played well on the defensive end against the Hawks. The Matadors held San Diego Christian to only .319 shooting (15-for-47) and outrebound the visitors, 48-40.
"I thought we did some good things tonight, especially on the defensive end," said Braswell. "We hadn't played a good defensive 40-minute game all season until tonight. I thought our guys turned it up tonight."
Saturday (11/26/11) at Drake University, the Matadors will be playing its fourth road of this young season.
"This is a young team that is trying to get better every game," Braswell told reporters. "We have some challenges ahead but I think the team is up to the challenge."
Bobby Braswell is now 14-2 in home season openers since becoming head coach of the Matadors in 1996-97 … Cal State Northridge leads the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.804) … Four players (Josh Greene, Alan Guei, Stephan Hicks, Vinnie McGhee) have combined to hit 60-of-68 free throws or .882 … Ari Feldman earned a starting spot against San Diego Christian and responded with season-high in points (10) and rebounds (6) … Vinnie McGhee has now collected 12 assists in the last two games … For the season, McGhee has tallied a team-leading 17 assists (4.3 apg) … McGhee also leads the team in steals (7) … Thomas Jacobs and Ari Feldman have combined to hit 20-of-36 shots for .556.