Cal State Northridge Defeats Morgan State, 86-80
Box Score - CSUN vs Morgan State
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications
Northridge, Calif. – Going into Friday night's non-league basketball game against Morgan State, senior guard Josh Greene knew he needed six three-pointers to tie the long-time career school record set by Ian Boylan (1997-01) with 182.
Greene wanted to tie or set the record in front of family, friends and fans who faithfully attend basketball games at the Matadome.
Greene raced to a fast start in the first half. Within a two-minute span nearing the midway point of the first half, Greene hit three straight shots from behind the arc, and added a fourth trey near the end of the first half.
Then with 11:24 mark in the second half, Greene hit his fifth three-pointer of the contest to give the Matadors a comfortable 59-48 lead over the Bears.
Greene then turned his attention to his success at the free throw line. Six consecutive free throws in the final 1:36 of the contest helped propel CSUN to a hard-earned 86-80 victory over Morgan State in a non-league game on Friday night at the Matadome.
Greene's 36-minute night looked outstanding from the left margin to the right margin of the official box score. A season-high 28 points (8-for-10 from the floor, 5-for-6 from three point territory), five rebounds, four assists and three steals is a pretty good night of work.
Matador head coach Reggie Theus noticed Greene's outstanding play, and was quick to praise Greene's success on the floor, and the leadership he displays amongst his teammates.
"Josh has an excellent jump shot," said Theus. "When he gets it going, he can make shots all over the court. Tonight he had it going. He has a green light under those circumstances."
Greene is a team player, who says winning as a team will always take top honors over individual achievements.
"I'm really not disappointed," said Greene. "I'm just happy the team won."
Greene's next opportunity to tie or break the school record takes place on Dec. 30 at Stephen F. Austin in Texas.
"It simply means that all hard work pays off," said Greene when asked about his three-point success. "I'm really blessed the Good Lord has put me in this position. All the credit also goes to my teammates. They look for me when I'm open. Making shots give us a good chance to win."
Greene's success at the free throw line has not gone unnoticed. His 7-for-8 effort from the charity stripe included six straight charity tosses late in the game that has given him a percentage of .864, tops on the team and amongst the top three players in the conference.
Greene's career free throw percentage is .846, third-best all-time at Cal State Northridge.
"Just hard work," said the soft-spoken senior. "It's just a matter of coming to work every day and being disciplined along with being dedicated. I'm always striving for perfection."
Stephen Maxwell again displayed his blue collar style of play with a career-high 28 points along with 12 rebounds. At 6-foot-7, 220-pounds, Maxwell worked for every point against his opponent who stood 7-foot-2, and scaled the weights at 270-pounds.
"Stephen never stops working," said Theus. "We have made him a pivotal part of our offense. There are certain things he still has to learn. He draws double teams which means he is doing something right offensively. Now he has to get better at finding the open man."
Stephan Hicks added his third double-double of the season with ten points and eleven rebounds to help the Matadors raise their season record to 8-5.
Morgan State fell to 3-8.
Morgan State led 12-11 at the 16:05 mark of the first half, but the Matadors ripped off ten straight points to take a 21-12 lead at the 13:04 mark. CSUN never surrendered the lead.
Cal State Northridge led at halftime, 39-34, and built its lead to as many as 13 points (61-48) with 10:30 remaining in the game.
Morgan State mounted a late rally that cut the Matadors lead to only three points, 76-73, with 1:21 remaining.
But a 4-0 run in the next 21 seconds thanks to two free throws by Hicks and another two free throws by Greene gave the Matadors a much needed cushion.
In fact, nine free throws in the final minute helped give the Matadors the 86-80 victory.
"We got a little complacent," admits Greene. "We took our foot off the pedal and Morgan State started to make a real run. We are still learning. We will continue to watch film. We will find our mistakes and continue to work to prepare for our next game at Stephen F. Austin."
"We did a lot of good things, and we stuck to our game plan," said Theus. "Good teams, even when things aren't perfect, find a way to win. That is our goal."
Cal State Northridge has now won five of its last six games going into the Dec. 30 game at Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks are 10-2 and have won 23 straight games on their home court.
"I'm enjoying it. I like teaching," when reporters asked Theus about his first season at CSUN. "I like the opportunity to help these players grow. I also like the opportunity to teach the players how to play hard; how to grind a game out … to learn to win. I have had those experiences at all the levels that I have played basketball. These are the type of things I'm trying to teach the team.
Matador Memo …
Josh Greene's 28 points gave him 1,184 in his four-year Matador career, ninth-best in school history … Greene's six three-point attempts against Morgan State give him 473 in his CSUN career to move him into second place all-time, just ahead of Vinnie McGhee (472, 2009-12) … Tre Hale-Edmerson tied his school record with six blocks against Morgan State … Earlier this year, Hale-Edmerson had six blocks against La Sierra (12/1/13) to tie the record set earlier by Calvin Chitwood at Washington (12/22/07) … Hale-Edmerson now has 57 career blocks, seventh-best in school history.