Seattle University Outlasts Cal State Northridge, 58-53
Box Score - CSUN vs Seattle
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications
Northridge, Calif. – After ten games (5-5) of the 2013-14 season, and since Cal State Northridge is an institution of higher learning, Matador head coach Reggie Theus was asked by reporters what letter grade he would give the CSUN basketball team.
"A C+," Theus told reporters. "If we pull out a win tonight against Seattle, I would give us a B+. We are playing with nine scholarship players. Stephen Maxwell and Tre Hale-Edmerson are our two 'bigs'. We don't have another guy to put into the game who is a significant contributor. Every game we go into, we are undermanned. We have to play harder and we have to play more minutes. Playing more than 30 minutes a game is a lot of minutes in college basketball, but our kids do it every night. One more win shoots this season from a 'C' to a B+".
Seven CSUN players played 19 minutes or more in Thursday night's 58-53 loss to a very good Seattle squad. Three starters (Josh Greene, Stephan Hicks, Tre Hale-Edmerson) played 34, 34, and 30 minutes, respectively. A fourth starter, Stephen Maxwell, played 29 minutes.
"The guys played extremely hard for 35 minutes," said Theus. "The team executed the defensive game plan. But in the last five minutes, Seattle got five second-chances at the basket, and we didn't come up with the 50-50 balls. That really was the difference."
Cal State Northridge also had issues at the free throw line. CSUN only hit 6-of-13 charity tosses.
"If we make our free throws, we win by seven or eight (points)," said Theus.
Cal State Northridge entered the game as the league's top free throwing team (.779). In the season opener, CSUN set a school record with a 31-of-32 free throw effort.
CSUN held a 48-43 lead with 6:26 remaining in the game.
But with 4:34 left on the clock, the Matadors went scoreless until 40 seconds remaining, and eventually fell to the Redhawks, who raised their season record to 5-3.
"We didn't shoot the ball particularly well," admitted Theus. "We only took 47 shots. It was a slow, grind it out sort of game. For 35 minutes, we were the better team."
Seattle entered the game averaging 77.4 ppg per game. The Matadors held the visitors to a season-low 58 points on only 38 percent shooting.
Tre Hale-Edmerson played his best overall game of the season with ten points along with a season-high nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals. But within a 24 second span with less than 12 minutes on the clock, Hale-Edmerson picked up his third and fourth personal fouls.
"That was important," said Theus. "He was playing his best game of the year. It hurts. He controlled the middle of the floor tonight."
Cal State Northridge fell to 5-5.
Seattle University outrebounded the Matadors, 36-to-29. The Redhawks also garnered 12 offensive rebounds compared to six for CSUN.
"We have battled this problem the whole year," said Theus. "Getting the 50-50 balls and offensive rebounding. We talk about toughness the entire time. When the game is on the line, you have to be physically and mentally tough."
Cal State Northridge is now preparing for finals, and will not play until Dec. 20 at Texas A&M (Corpus Christi). The next home game is Dec. 22 against the Idaho Vandals.
Stephan Hicks led Matador scorers with 13 points. Josh Greene, like Tre Hale-Edmerson, scored ten points.
Matador Memo …
Tre Hale-Edmerson's three blocks gives him 48 career blocks in just two seasons at Cal State Northridge … That moves him into a tie with Tom Samson (1993-97) into eighth place in school history … Josh Greene is inching closer to the school record for career three-pointers … With two three-pointers against Seattle University, the senior guard now has 171 in his four-year career, just eleven back of school record holder Ian Boylan (2001-05).