Feb. 24, 2011
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director, Media Relations
Northridge, Calif. - On an electrifying night that included another standing room only crowd, the 700th victory in Matador history, a school record and the final home appearance for five outstanding Matador seniors, Cal State Northridge battled back in the second half to post a 68-60 victory over UC Santa Barbara in a Big West Conference men's basketball game on Thursday night at The Matadome.
"This was a great night for our seniors," beamed Matador head coach Bobby Braswell. "Anytime you beat a team like UC Santa Barbara ... that's a great night."
Cal State Northridge had to fight back from a nine-point halftime deficit (37-28) to outscore UC Santa Barbara in the second half (40-23) that got the pro-CSUN crowd roarin'.
"Our defense really picked up in the second half," Braswell told reporters. "We gave up a lot of open three-pointers in the first half. Our energy on the ball wasn't good. We pride ourselves on bothering the basketball. In the first half, UCSB was able to get the ball where they wanted. I told the team at halftime that had to change."
CSUN's defense held UCSB to only 27 percent (6-for-22) shooting and only nine percent (1-for-11) shooting from behind the arc in the second half.
Lenny Daniel scored a game-high 23 points and broke the single season school record for free throw attempts. Daniel attempted 16 free throws (made 11) to give him 233 for the season, six more than the previous school record (227) originally held by Ollie Carter during the 1964-65 season. Carter's school record was one of the oldest in school history.
Daniel also added a block to give him 76 for his two-year Matador career. Daniel is now tied for second-best in school history with Brian Heinle (1997-01). It took Heinle 119 games to achieve 76 career blocks while Daniel got his 76 career blocks in only 57 games (2009-11).
Daniel now needs six more blocks to tie Thomas Shewmake (82, 2002-07) for the CSUN school record.
Daniel has 32 blocks this year, third-best in school history along with Shewmake (2005-06). Daniel holds the single season blocks record with 44 set last year.
UCSB's nine-point advantage at halftime quickly dwindled to only three points (37-34) in the first 1:35 minutes of the second half. A layup and two free throws by Raymond Cody contributed to CSUN's out burst to open the second half.
A three-pointer by Vinnie McGhee at the 9:34 mark of the second half gave the Matadors a 49-47 lead. A Rashaun McLemore three-pointer with 2:59 left in the game gave the Matadors a 62-56 lead. Two free throws by Dathan Lyles with six seconds remaining sealed the win for Cal State Northridge.
The Cal State Northridge victory was also the 700th in the 53-year history of Matador basketball. The Matadors' first victory took place on December 13, 1958 with a 73-64 win over La Verne.
The standing room only crowd of 1,675 fans this season was only exceeded by the 1,765 fans who witnessed the CSUN vs Long Beach State game on Feb. 12, 2011. The 1,675 fans at the CSUN vs UCSB game was the fifth-largest in school history since the capacity of The Matadome was listed at 1,600 at the start of the 1999-00 season.
"The crowd was fantastic," said Braswell. "That's two sell outs in a row. In the second half, the team got going and the crowd got going. This was a great tribute to our seniors."
Matador Memo ...
Following the win (68-60) over UC Santa Barbara, the five Matador seniors (Raymond Cody, Lenny Daniel, Michael Lizarraga, Dathan Lyles and Rashaun McLemore) were honored for their contributions to Matador basketball over the years ... Lenny Daniel had eleven free throws against UC Santa Barbara to give him 132 for this season, only two short of catching Jack Dyck (1974-75) in tenth place in the school record book ... Daniel had 16 free throw attempts, seventh-best for a single game in school history ... Daniel now has 392 career free throw attempts, only seven short of catching Mark Cooley (1964-67) in tenth place in the Matador record book ... Daniel collected five rebounds to give him 262 for the season, only four short of catching Jim Malkin (1960-61) in tenth place in the school record book ... Freshman reserve forward Thomas Jacobs collected a season-high nine rebounds along with two steals in 13 minutes ... Jacobs has 17 rebounds in the last two games.