November 16, 2009

CSUN Defeated 83-65 by #7-Seed TCU in NIT Tip-Off Tournament

Nov. 16, 2009

Box Score

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-2) assembled a spirited comeback effort in the second half after falling behind midway through the first half. But the TCU Horned Frogs would not let the Matadors develope enough momentum at any point of Monday evening's game and defeated Northridge by a score of 83-65 in the first game within the West Region of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Tip-Off Classic.

Northridge will face the Texas State Bobcats (1-1) in the consolation game of final day of regional competition from the Wells Fargo Arena located on the campus of Arizona State University Tuesday evening as they were defeated by host Sun Devils by a score of 84-62 Monday evening.

Tip-off for the Matadors-Bobcats game will take place at 7:00 p.m. MT/06:00 p.m. PT, fans can follow all the action by listening to Alan Zinsmeister's live internet broadcast on GoMatadors.com

Less than two minutes into the game the Matadors took the lead and looked to begin tournament competition on a positive note against the tournament's #7-ranked team.

However, the Horned Frogs went on a 15-2 run to wrestle away the lead from CSUN, an advantage that they would not return for the remainder of the game.

For the second straight contest CSUN faced a team that just cound not miss from the field as TCU finished the first twenty-minute session shooting the exact same percentage from both the field and behind the 3-point arc, 52.9%.

Uncontested shots for TCU were few and far between, they were just able to make their shots over a tough Matador defense.

Down 48-25 at the half, a newly-energized basketball team emerged from the Northridge locker room and began to slowly chip away at the TCU lead thanks to a combination of aggressive play on both ends of the floor, timely turnovers that were forced by CSUN, and an ability to crash the glass and out-rebound their opposition.

By forcing TCU to turn the ball over 13 times in the second half, a majority of possessions that were earned during the first ten minutes of play in the second half, the Matadors looked as if they were going to continue whittling down the TCU advantage and looked as if they would eventually regain the lead in the final moments of the game.

The first ten minutes saw Northridge nearly chopping the TCU in half, unfortunately for CSUN the following ninety seconds saw TCU increase their lead back to twenty points, eradicating all momentum CSUN worked so hard to create since halftime.

From that point on, the lead would swing just a handful of points in one way or the other until the final horn sounded, giving Northridge their second loss of the season.

Senior guard Kenny Daniels finished the game as CSUN's top scorer with 14 points, with junior forward Lenny Daniel contributing with his 11 point, eight rebound performance.

Daniel is one of seven student-athletes who are new to the Northridge roster this season and joins fellow neophyte Kevin Menner as the only junior college transfers to score in double-figures this season.

A string of twos dotted the box score next to returning forward Vincent Cordell as he finished the game shooting 2-2 from the field, 2-2 from the free-throw line, and grabbed two rebounds during his 17 minutes of action.

After missing 20 free-throws at Purdue, the players responded by converting on 24-36 (66.7%) opportunities from the charity stripe and almost made every one of their nine attempts in the first half.

For the second time in as many games, CSUN outscored their opponents in the second half as they were able to decrease TCU's halftime lead by five points before the game ended, and out-rebounded TCU by a 27-19 margin in the second 20-minute session.

Four TCU players finished with double-digit scoring figures lead by guard Edvinas Ruzgas and his 24 points as he scored on half of his shots taken both in front of (8-16) and behind the 3-point line (5-10).

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