Jan. 24, 2009
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Northridge, Ca - Defense!!!
Mention that word to Matador head basketball coach Bobby Braswell and he will tell you "defense is the key ingredient" in winning games.
That was certainly proven on Saturday night as the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team held UC Irvine to only 30 percent shooting, to only 14 baskets, out rebounded the Anteaters, 42-31, and collected nine steals.
On the Northridge side of the box score, the inside duo of Tremaine Townsend and Willie Galick combined for 26 rebounds, four steals and three blocks in helping the Matadors to a 74-55 knockout of the Anteaters in a Big West Conference game at The Matadome.
"Our four goals are to hold opponents under 40 percent shooting, protect the paint, get between 30 to 35 deflections, and then win the war of the boards."
Mission accomplished!!! UC Irvine shot .298 ... rarely scored in the paint ... the Matadors collected 55 deflections, and out rebounded UCI by eleven boards (42-31).
"Defensively we did what we pretty much hoped to do," said Braswell. "I told our team that I care about defending and guarding people. This is what the doctor ordered to see our team fight and defend."
The CSUN offense exploded for 45 points in the second half. With the score 50-49 with 6:52 remaining in the game, the Matadors offense kicked into high gear, outscoring UCI, 20-2, in the next 4:30 to earn the team's its seventh victory of the season.
Willie Galick produced his fourth double-double of the season with career-highs in points (19), rebounds (11), assists (4) and blocks (2). Although Townsend only scored four points, the league's leading rebounder responded with a game-high 15 caroms along with three steals and a block.
"Willie responded tonight," said Braswell. "We need him to do that. Tremaine will probably tell you that he played the worst game of his life offensively. But he had 15 rebounds, three steals and a block. I'm just happy about those numbers for him."
The Matadors are now 7-10 overall. Their conference record of 4-3 moves them into a second place tie with Pacific and UC Davis.
Matador Memo ...
Tremaine Townsend has now collected ten or more rebounds in four straight games ... During that span, Townsend has collected 56 rebounds to raise his season average to 8.8 rpg ... Rob Haynes hit two three-pointers against UCI to give him 145 for his four-year Matador career, and only four shot of catching Brian Heinle (1997-01, 149) in second place in the school record book.