NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Led by the trio of Travis Fulton, Ross Rivera, and Lorenzo McCloud who finished Thursday night's game with 23, 17, and 21 points apiece, the Pacific Tigers defeated Cal State Northridge 79-59 in a Big West Conference game at the Matadome.
Ending the evening with a team-high 18 points, Stephan Hicks
recorded his third double-double of the season by also grabbing 10 of the Matadors' 34 rebounds. This is Hicks' first double-double since recording identical figures against Pacifica last December.
In his 14 minutes of action, Frankie Eteuati
not only set a new season high, but also tied his career high originally set last season at CSU Bakersfield by grabbing seven rebounds.
Down by 10 at the half, the Matadors (4-10, 1-3 BWC) were able to cut the lead down to eight points before the Tigers (5-10, 1-3 BWC) responded with a 15-6 run to build their advantage to 19 points with just over nine minutes remaining in the game.
Undaunted, CSUN responded by holding the Tigers scoreless for over four minutes, trimming Pacific's lead down to 12 points with 6:17 remaining in the game.
As was the case during the Matadors' earlier efforts to regain the lead, costly miscues, combined with Pacific's success from the field, helped the Tigers build their lead to a game-high 22 points in the final moments of the evening.
Outscored by 10 points in each half, the Matadors finished the game shooting 21-of-57 (36.8 percent), while their opponents connected on 27-of-48 shots (56.3 percent) from the field.
"Offensively it was just one of those nights for us," said assistant coach Danny Sprinkle. "We had some good looks, we were just unable to make shots. Our shooters just had an off-night, it is too bad that all of them were unable to score in the same game."
Compounding CSUN's struggles from the floor was its inability to protect the ball in crucial situations.
"We committed 20 turnovers tonight, and many of them were careless. We would go on a scoring run, then make poor decisions with the ball. Anytime we got close, we would make a turnover… and then they would get a basket in transition."
Northridge will end its three-game homestand Saturday night when the Matadors host UC Davis (1-15, 0-4 BWC) at 7:05 p.m.