Dec. 18, 2010
Bakersfield, Calif. - For the third straight year, CSUN's basketball game at Cal State Bakersfield was decided on the final possession.
Two years ago, the Matadors couldn't convert on its last possession and dropped a 69-67 verdict at CSUB's Rabobank Arena.
Last year, CSUB's Trent Blakely hit a two-pointer at the buzzer to hand CSUN a 59-57 loss.
On Saturday night, it happened again at Rabobank Arena. As time was running out, CSUB's Stephon Carter hit a disputed three-point shot to give the home team a 70-69 win over visiting Cal State Northridge.
For several minutes, the three-man officiating crew looked at a video monitor to determine whether Carter's basket was a two-pointer to tie the game or a three-pointer to win the game.
The officials decided it was a three-pointer. CSUN head coach Bobby Braswell disagreed.
"... A tough call," said Braswell on seeing the video of Carter's shot after the game. "We thought his foot was clearly inside the three-point line. After looking at it (video) after the game, it was clear his foot was inside the line. The officials missed it, but again that's part of the game, part of the process ... His foot was a good 6-to-8 inches over that line. It wasn't even close, but we had a chance to put the game away but we missed some opportunities down the stretch. If we want to become a good team, we need to take advantage of those opportunities."
Cal State Northridge was down 37-32 at halftime, and later down by seven points, 39-32, early in the second half. But the Matadors fought back in the second half to not only tie the game at 48-48 with 12:43, but even went ahead by four points, 52-48, with 11:43 remaining.
"This was a disappointing loss," said Braswell. "After halftime, we played much better. We really fought. We defended well and did some things that gave us a chance to win."
With 50 seconds remaining in the game, Cal State Northridge led, 68-65. Two free throws by CSUB's Alex Johnson cut the margin to 68-67 with 49 ticks on the clock.
Lenny Daniel, who tallied his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and ten rebounds, added a free throw to make it 69-67 with 19 seconds left.
A missed shot by Cal State Bakersfield with ten seconds left, and a resulting foul by the Roadrunners with eight seconds left gave the Matadors a chance to record a road win.
However, the Matadors missed both free throws to setup the winning shot by Carter as time expired.
Cal State Northridge returns home to The Matadome on Wednesday, Dec. 22, to face Santa Clara.
Matador Minute ...
Rashaun McLemore led CSUN scorers with 20 points (9-for-14 from the floor) ... Previous to CSUB's winning shot with two seconds to play, Cal State Bakersfield had not scored a basket in the previous 7:04.