Nov. 12, 2010
By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Northridge, Calif. - It didn't take UCLA long to flex its muscles over Cal State Northridge.
The Bruins, using its superior size and it's cat-like quickness in the backcourt, played the role of bully on the beach to defeat the Matadors, 83-50, in the season opener for both teams on Friday night at Pauley Pavilion.
CSUN head coach Bobby Braswell didn't need to take one look at the box score to summarize the 35-point loss.
"We lost this game very early," said Braswell, who was making reference to UCLA's 17-1 blitzkrieg on the Matadors in the five first minutes of the game. "We never got our defense established. They (UCLA) shot 72 percent from the floor in the first half and outrebounded us."
For the game, CSUN turned the ball over 27 times. You can't have stats like that and expect to keep the game close.
UCLA started a hyperactive front line that featured Reeves Nelson (6-foot-8, 235 pounds) with 17 points, Tyler Honeycutt (6-foot-8, 190 pounds) with 16 points and Joshua Smith, who used his 6-foot-10, 305-pound frame to muscle up nine points. This Bruin trio combined for 17 of UCLA's 39 rebounds for the game.
Cal State Northridge used 13 players to try to find a combination that would work. In the second half, the Matadors held the Bruins to only 42 percent shooting and outrebounded the taller Bruins, 24-22.
"I thought our freshman played hard," said Braswell. "They gave us some energy in the second half."
The freshmen to contribute included Thomas Jacobs with four rebounds in 15 minutes, Josh Greene with five points and three steals in 21 minutes, Frankie Eteuati with five points and two blocks in eleven minutes, and Aqeel Quinn with four points, two rebounds and a steal in seven minutes.
Senior Rashaun McLemore scored ten points along with four rebounds and three steals to lead CSUN.
CSUN gets another chance at a Pac-10 team when the Matadors travel to Berkeley next Tuesday (Nov. 16) to face the defending champion Golden Bears.
"This game (vs UCLA) was the first of a lot of games this season," said Braswell. "We're still a work in progress."
McLemore agreed. "Next time, we have to come out with more energy and play better defensively. It's only the first game of the season ... we just have to move forward from here."