Dec. 28, 2010
Northridge, Calif. - The University of Pacific fought back from an 11-point first half deficit to post a 74-64 come-from-behind victory over host Cal State Northridge in the Big West Conference opener for both teams on Tuesday night at The Matadome.
Cal State Northridge dominated the entire first half against the Tigers. With the Matadors up 20-19 with 6:21 left in the first half, CSUN outscored the visitors, 11-2, to take a commanding 30-19 lead with 3:17 left on the clock.
Cal State Northridge led at halftime, 32-27.
But Pacific took complete control in the second half, shooting .667 and outscoring the Matadors, 47-32. Cal State Northridge led, 43-33, with 15:39 remaining in the game. However, a 12-0 run by Pacific put the Tigers in front to stay at 45-43 with 13:13 remaining.
Eventually, the lead grew too as many as 13 points, 67-54, with 4:52 left on the game clock.
Reserve guard Jose Rivera provided a hefty load in the scoring department for Pacific, particularly in the second half. For the game, Rivera hit a career-high 18 points, including six 3-pointers in seven attempts. Four of those three-pointers were made in the second half. Center Sam Willard collected a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds along with four assists in 32 minutes.
Lenny Daniel led Cal State Northridge with 16 points and eleven rebounds.
Pacific raised its overall record to 8-5 and 1-0 in the Big West Conference. Cal State Northridge fell to 3-9 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Cal State Northridge hosts UC Davis on Thursday (12/30/10) at 7:05 p.m. at The Matadome. The Aggies opened their league campaign with an 88-72 victory at Cal State Fullerton.
Matador Memo ...
Lenny Daniels' 16 points and eleven rebounds gives him five double-doubles this year and 13 in his two-year career at Cal State Northridge ... Raymond Cody collected a career-high six assists ... Rashaun McLemore's 16 points gives him nine games in eleven played that the senior has collected double-digit points ... McLemore's first free throw miss of the game ended his consecutive free throw streak at 18.
Quotes from Matador head coach Bobby Braswell ...
"Our defense just let us down (in the second half). Pacific didn't do anything different in the second half as they did in the first half. We just lost our defensive intensity in the second half. That was the ball game. I thought we had an excellent game plan and executed it pretty good. We went with a smaller lineup but our defense just disappeared in the second half. Statistically we outscored them in the paint (30-20), had 20 second chance points compared to their eight, but we just didn't defend."
"This was a tough loss. We started the league and we played well for about 25 minutes of the game. But we don't have a lot of time to cry about it. We need to get back into the gym to prepare for UC Davis on Thursday night. We were on the verge of getting it done tonight. I'm proud of the team but we have to find a way to finish. I know what this team is capable of doing. We need to turn the corner."