Weekly Press Release - CSUN @ Southern Utah
Cal State Northridge will take a break from the rigors of Big West Conference basketball when the Matadors travel to Cedar City, Utah, to face Southern Utah University on Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 pm (mt) at the Ramada Worldwide Bracketbusters ... This will be the third time CSUN has traveled to the state of Utah in 2012-13 ... On Nov. 24, 2012, the Matadors traveled to Provo, Ut., to face Brigham Young ... Then on Dec. 21, CSUN traveled to Salt Lake City to face the University of Utah ... CSUN lost at BYU, 87-75, in front of a sellout crowd of 20,900 (the largest crowd to witness a Matador game in school history) ... At Utah, CSUN battled back from a 21-point halftime deficit, 48-27, to post a 76-71 victory over the Utes ... For Bobby Braswell, it was the biggest comeback in his 17 seasons as head coach of the Matadors ... It was CSUN's fist victory over a Pac-12 school since the Matadors posted an 81-76 overtime victory at USC on Nov. 20, 2005 ... Getting to Cedar City, Ut., will be another long effort for CSUN ... Cal State Northridge will fly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and then bus nearly three hours to Cedar City, population 22,000, home of Southern Utah University ... Alan Zinsmeister will have the live broadcast of Matador basketball game at Southern Utah on gomatadors.com ... Live Stats and Twitter coverage will also be available.
CSUN's assistant coach Bob Lowe (pronounced Lau) formerly coached at Southern Utah (1992-00) ... Lowe helped the Thunderbirds to a #1 ranking among Division I independents in 1994 and helped Southern Utah to two American West Conference Tournaments (1995, 1996) ... During Lowe's tenure at Southern Utah, the Thunderbirds led the nation in three-point field percentage.
Depth has been a major strength for CSUN in 2012-13 ... Ten players are averaging 11.1 or more minutes per game ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) leads the team in minutes per game at 32.0, seventh-best in the conference ... Greene has played 30 or more minutes in 20 games including a season-high 38 minutes at Cal State Fullerton (1/31/13) and vs UC Riverside (1/3/13) ... Stephan Hicks (6-7, 200, Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca) has started 23 games and is averaging 30.6 mpg ... Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodland Hills, Ca) has started all 27 games and is averaging 27.8 minutes per game ... Allan Guei (5-9, 160, Sophomore, Guard, Compton, Ca), a starter in 26 games, checks in at 19.7 mpg while Landon Drew (6-1, 175, Freshman, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is tops among the reserves at 19.3 mpg ... Tre Hale-Edmerson (6-9, 215, Freshman, F/C, Sheridan, Or) is averaging 16.5 mpg ... Four reserves - Trevone Williams (18.3 mpg, 6-6, 225, RS Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca), Brandon Perry (15.0 mpg, 6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca), Donovan Johnson (14.4 mpg, 6-3, 185, Freshman, G/F, Los Angeles, Ca) and Lonnie Watson (11.1 mpg, 6-4, 190, RS Sophomore, F/C, Paso Robles, Ca) are all seeing extensive action ... Williams has scored in double figures in nine games including season-highs in points (15) and rebounds (8) at Cal Poly (1/26/13) ... Drew has scored in double figures in seven games including a season-high 19 points at Utah (12/21/12) ... Drew is fourth-best in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2 ... Drew leads the team in assists (3.8 apg, #10 in the BWC) ... Hale-Edmerson is seventh in the conference in blocks (0.8 bpg) ...Perry is averaging 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game ... Perry's best game of the year included a 22-point (7-for-8 from the floor), five block effort vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) ... Johnson scored a team-high 19 points in the season opener against Pepperdine (11/9/12) ... Lonnie Watson (6-4, 190, RS Sophomore, F/G, Paso Robles, Ca) played 103 minutes in four starts including 34 minutes at UC Riverside (2/2/13) ... Watson started at Cal State Fullerton (1/31/13) and responded with eleven points and four rebounds ... Watson started four games due to the knee injury to Stephan Hicks (6-6, 190, Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca).
Twenty-seven games into the 2012-13 season, and already the Matador record book has undergone change ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) set a school record with 33 straight free throws over a seven game span, to break the previous record of 32 set by Markus Carr during the 2000-01 season ... Greene's 14-for-14 free throw effort in the 92-76 victory over Tulsa (11/17/12) was fourth-best for a single game in school history ... Greene dished out 13 assists against Eastern Washington (11/12/12), a career-best and sixth-best for a single game in school history ... Greene has 135 three-pointers in three seasons at CSUN, sixth-best in the CSUN record book with Brooklyn McLinn (1989-90) ... Greene's 370 career three-point attempts is ssixth-best in the school record book ... Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca) also added his name to the CSUN record book with a 9-for-10 shooting effort at San Diego (11/15/12), the third-best effort in Matador history for a single game ... Hicks produced a career-best seven steals at San Diego (11/15/12), fifth-best for a single contest in CSUN history ... Brandon Perry's (6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca) five blocked shots vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) is second-best for a single game in CSUN history ... The 17 steals against UC Davis (1/17/13) were ninth-best for a single game in school history ... The 32 free throws against Tulsa (11/27/12) were ninth-best for a single game in school history ... The eight blocks against San Diego Christian (12/18/12) were third-best for a single game in Matador history.
Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodland Hills, Ca) has become a dominant force offensively and defensively for Cal State Northridge in recent weeks ... Maxwell has been the team's leading scorer in nine of the last 14 games including career-highs in points (27) and rebounds (14) at UC Santa Barbara (1/24/13) ... Maxwell has been the team's leading rebounder in ten of the last 14 games ... Maxwell has hit double-double figures in eight of the last 15 games and has ten double-doubles this season ... His recent success has raised his scoring average to 14.7 ppg (#2 on the Matadors, #10 in the BWC) and 8.1 rebounds (#1 on the Matadors, #2 in the BWC) ... Maxwell is hitting a team-leading .555 (157-for-283, #3 in the BWC) ... Maxwell is averaging 16.9 points (253 points) and 9.1 rebounds (136 rebounds) in his last 15 games.
Which NCAA Division I basketball team is the youngest in the country? ... Look no further than Cal State Northridge ... In a nationwide survey conducted by the Naval Academy media relations office, in terms of playing experience, the Matadors have 16 active players with only ten years of collegiate basketball experience, an average of 0.63 years per player ... Three of the nation's least experienced teams hail from the Big West Conference ... Following the average of 0.63 years per player by Cal State Northridge, Dartmouth is second nationally at 0.73 years per player, followed by Navy (0.76 years), UC Santa Barbara (0.78 years) and UC Riverside (0.79 years) ... Their are NO seniors on the 17-man Cal State Northridge active roster ... Their are ONLY three juniors ... The rest of the Matador squad is either freshmen (seven) or sophomores (six).
CSUN is among the Big West Conference leaders in several team and individual offensive categories ... CSUN is averaging 8.7 steals per game, #1 in the conference ... CSUN has ten or more steals in 12 of the 27 games ... CSUN had a season-high 17 steals against UC Davis (1/17/13), ninth-best for a single game in school history ... Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca) is second in the conference at 2.0 spg ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is third in the conference in steals at 1.8 spg ... CSUN is averaging 75.5 ppg, second-best in the league ... In five games, CSUN has scored 90 or more points, including a season-high 120 points vs Vanguard (12/5/12) ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca) are second and sixth, respectively, in the league in free throw percentage ... Greene is shooting .851 (97-for-114) from the charity stripe while Hicks is at .797 (114-for-143) ... CSUN is #1 in offensive rebounds (14.1 orpg) ... Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodland Hills, Ca) is second in the BWC in offensive rebounds at 3.8 per game while Hicks is fifth at 2.8 orpg.
Down by 17 points (26-9) with 7:33 remaining in the first half, CSUN stormed back to defeat UC Irvine (2/7/13), 70-61 ... CSUN's 76-71 victory at Utah (12/21/12) was the team's first victory over a Pac-12 school since Nov. 20, 2005 when the Matadors recorded a 81-76 overtime verdict at USC ... The Matadors were down 21 points, 48-27, at halftime ... It was the biggest come-from-behind victory for Bobby Braswell in his 17 seasons as head coach at CSUN ... CSUN won its ninth game (76-71 at Utah) of the year on Dec. 21, 2012, a winning feat the basketball program has not accomplished this quick in the 55-year history of Matador basketball ... The 6-0 start to the 2012-13 season was the best start in school history since CSUN began NCAA Division I play in 1990-91, and the best overall start since the 1981-82 campaign.
Stephan Hicks (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca) is back ... Hicks suffered a knee injury at Cal Poly (1/26/13) which forced him out of four games ... Hicks returned at Pacific (2/14/13) and responded with team-highs in points (16), rebounds (7) and steals (3) ... Hicks leads CSUN in scoring (16.8 ppg, #6 in the Big West Conference), and is second in rebounding (7.4 rpg, #6 in the BWC) ... Hicks leads the team in free throws (114) and free throw attempts (143) and is second in steals (46, 2.0 spg, #2 in the BWC) ... Hicks, who has been named Big West Player of the Week twice this year, has five double-doubles this year, and ten over the last two seasons ... Hicks tied his career-high with 26 points at Long Beach State (1/9/13) ... Three times this year, Hicks has scored 25 points ... Hicks has scored in double figures 20 of the 23 games this year ... Hicks has led the team in scoring in 12 games, and the team's leading rebounder in 13 games ... Hicks opened his CSUN career in 2011-12 season with 22 points and 17 rebounds at Hawai'i (11/14/11) and followed it up with 25 points and eight rebounds against the Rainbow Warriors (12/29/12) ... Hicks hit 9-of-10 shots at USD (11/15/12), the third-best effort in CSUN history for a single game ... Hicks produced a career-best seven steals at USD (11/15/12), fifth-best for a single contest in CSUN history.
The Matadome, home to the Cal State Northridge men's and women's basketball programs, has undergone significant renovations since the conclusion of the 2011-12 campaign ... A new floor, air conditioning, and visual upgrades completed this past summer have given the Matadome its first significant makeover in a decade ... Last season, new baskets and shot clocks were installed for basketball games as well as new press row tables, video display boards, a scoreboard above center court, and wall graphics ... With a brand new floor and a redesigned court, the Matadome received a dramatic overhaul just in time for the 51st anniversary of the first home game played in the facility this November ... Fans will notice wall graphics on the east end of the Matadome commemorating Cal State Northridge's post-season successes and a mural of fans cheering on the Matadors ... In addition, a new public address system has been installed ... New renovations also allow for the expanded use of live video for all competitions.
Southern Utah is 10-15 overall and 8-8 in the Big Sky Conference ... The Thunderbirds are 8-8 on their home court, the Centrum ... Jackson Stevenett and Damon Heuir are the team's leading scorers at 17.7 ppg and 16.2 ppg, respectively ... Jayson Cheesman leads SUU in rebounding at 6.4 rpg.
Southern Utah leads the series against Cal State Northridge, 13-5 ... The last meeting resulted in a 83-77 Thunderbird victory on Dec. 11, 1998 at the Cougar Classic in Provo, Ut. ... The Matadors are 0-7 in games played at Southern Utah.
CSUN has been picked to finish eighth in the annual Big West Conference pre-season media poll ... CSUN generated 83 points ... Long Beach State, the defending league regular season and league tournament champion, earned 13 first place votes and 194 points to emerge as the league favorite in 2012-13 ... The 49ers outdistanced Cal State Fullerton, which accumulated 164 points, and third place UC Irvine's 153 points ... The 21-member media panel tabbed Big West member Hawai'i for fourth place with 132 points followed by UC Santa Barbara in fifth place (129 points) ... Pacific was picked for sixth place (113 points) followed by Cal Poly (100 points), Cal State Northridge (83 points), UC Davis (44 points) and UC Riverside (43 points) ... CSUN's Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca), who gained Big West Freshman of the Year honors in 2011-12 with a 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game average, was named to the pre-season media all-conference team ... Also named to the pre-season team were James Ennis (Long Beach State), Vander Joaquim (Hawai'i), D.J. Seeley (Cal State Fullerton), Kwame Vaughn (Cal State Fullerton) and Michael Wilder (UC Irvine).
Two CSUN players (Allan Guei, Ilya Ilyayev) speak foreign languages ... Guei was born in Italy, but spent his early childhood in the Ivory Coast where he learned and spoke French ... Guei moved to the United States at age nine where he had to learn a second language, English ... Ilyayev was born in Moscow, Russia ... Ilyayev speaks fluent Russian ... Like Guei, Ilyayev had to learn English when he moved to the United States at age four ... Ilyayev holds dual citizenship ... CSUN started the year, 6-0, its best start since CSUN moved to the NCAA Division I level, and its best overall start since the 1981-82 campaign.
CSUN set a wrecking ball to the record book with its 120-69 victory over Vanguard (12/5/12) ... The 120 points scored by CSUN were the third-most in school history ... The 32 assists were third-best for a single game in Matador history ...The .672 shooting percentage (45-for-67) was fifth-best for a single game in the 55-year history of Matador basketball ... The 51-point margin of victory was the seventh-largest in school history ... The 45 field goals scored were ninth-best for a single game in Matador history ... The seven blocks against Vanguard were ninth-best in school history.
As expected, Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca), Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodhill Hills, Ca) have been the team's top three players ... All three players are prominently mentioned in numerous Big West Conference statistical categories ... Hicks leads the team in scoring (16.8 ppg, #6 in the BWC) and steals (2.0 spg, #2 in the BWC) and is second in rebounding (7.4 rpg, #6 in the BWC) ... Hicks' name is among the statistical leaders in free throw percentage (.797, #6 in the BWC), steals (2.0 spg, #2 in the BWC), offensive rebounds (2.8 rpg, #5 in the BWC) and defensive rebounds (4.7 rpg, #8 in the BWC) ... Hicks has already established career-bests in field goals (10), steals (7), assists (3), and blocks (2) this year ... Hicks has scored in double figures in 20 of 23 games this year, including season-highs (26 points, career-high) at Long Beach State (1/9/13) ... Twice this year, Hicks has been named Big West Player of the Week ... Greene has hit .851 (97-for-114, #2 in the Big West Conference) from the free throw line, and is among the league's top statistical leaders in steals (1.8 spg, #3 in the BWC), and assist/turnover ratio (1.8, #8 in the BWC) ... Greene is the new school record holder with 33 straight throws ... Greene made two straight free throws vs Vanguard (12/5/12) to give him 33 straight before missing on his 34th attempt ... Maxwell is averaging 14.7 ppg (#2 on the Matadors, #10 in the BWC), 8.1 rebounds per game (#1 on the team, #2 in the BWC) and shooting .555 (157-for-283, #4 in the BWC) from the floor.
Free Throw Facts
CSUN has made a league leading 455 free throws, 76 more than second place Hawai'i ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is second in the BWC in free throw percentage (.851, 97-for-114) ... Greene's career free throw percentage (.838, 218-for-260) is third-best in school history.
CSUN basketball has proven to be a popular commodity ... During the previous five seasons, Cal State Northridge basketball has been featured prominently on television (32 times to be exact), including games on CBS, Fox Sports Net and ESPNU ... During CSUN's march to the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09, Matador games were televised a school record nine times ... Matador basketball fans will have the opportunity to see CSUN five times on television during the 2012-13 men's basketball season ... The Pac-12 Networks has televised CSUN's games at UCLA (11/28/12), Arizona State (12/8/12) and at Utah (12/21/12) ... The Big West Conference game at UC Irvine (1/12/13) was televised on Prime Ticket ... The CSUN/BYU game was televised on BYUTV.org ... Prime Ticket will serve as the official regional telecast home of the Big West Conference ... Prime Ticket will televise four Big West Tournament Quarterfinal games on March 14 from the Honda Center in Anaheim ... In addition, either Prime Ticket or Fox Sports West will feature second day coverage of the Big West Men's & Women's Track & Field Championships which will be hosted by Cal State Northridge on May 11 ... The championship game of the 2013 Big West Tournament will be televised on ESPN2 on March 16 (7:30 pm).
The Big West Conference and the Honda Center have announced that all-session tickets for the 2013 Big West Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament are now on sale in conjunction with the official start of the college basketball season ... The 2013 Big West Tournament will be third year the event has been hosted by the Honda Center in Anaheim ... The 2012 tournament saw a 23 percent increase in attendance from the previous year ... The Big West Tournament is the oldest NCAA Division I post-season basketball tournament in the West, dating back to 1976 when the conference was known as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association.
Cal State Northridge has played 1,512 games since the start of the basketball program in 1958-59 ... Since the 1962-63 season, Cal State Northridge has played 610 home games at The Matadome with a winning percentage of .655 ... In 50 seasons on CSUN's home court, the Matadors have produced 41 winning seasons, five .500 seasons and only four losing seasons ... Entering the 2012-13 season, 407 players have worn the Red, Black & White of Cal State Northridge ... Thirty-one states have been represented in years past on the Matador roster.
The 55th season of Cal State Northridge basketball has promised to be just as competitive and exciting as the previous 54 years ... Three Pac-12 Conference teams (UCLA, Arizona State, Utah), a game at Brigham Young (BYU), and the addition of Hawai'i to the Big West Conference calendar are just a few of the highly competitive games that are on the 2012-13 docket ... Thirteen home games will be played at The Matadome ... Nine of those 13 home games will be Big West Conference games includings contests against defending league champion Long Beach State (Feb. 9, 7:05 pm) and Hawai'i (March 7, 7:30 pm) ... Entering the 2012-13 season, Cal State Northridge has played 213 colleges and universities that have represented 43 states ... Geographically, Cal State Northridge has played as far west as Hawai'i (played at Hawai'i in 2011-12) and as far east as New Jersey (played at Rider in 2008-09) ... The CSUN-UCLA game was played at the new renovated Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 28 ... The Big West Tournament is slated for March 14-16 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.