First Place Cal State Northridge Hosts UC Riverside

Feb. 13, 2009

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Game Gossip ...
Cal State Northridge is on a roll ... Playing its best basketball of the 2008-09 season, the Matdors have won five straight games ... During that span, the Matadors have averaged 74.2 ppg while holding the opposition to only 62.0 ppg ... The Matadors have held the opposition to a shooting percentage of .363 (98-for-270) and have outrebounded the opposition during the current winning streak ... The Matadors now turn their attention to UC Riverside (14-9 overall, 6-5 Big West) on Saturday (2/14/09) at 5:00 p.m. at The Matadome ... The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket with Bill McDonald and Michael Cage handling the broadcast chores ... Head coach Bobby Braswell will be looking for his 200th coaching victory against UC Riverside.

Depth Dialogue ...
Depth has certainly played an important role in the team's recent success ... Players coming off the bench have scored in double figures 16 times ... The versatility of the bench has enabled Cal State Northridge to employ nine different starting lineups ... Thirteen players have started at least one game this year ... Ten players are averaging 10.1 minutes per game or more ... In their last game (vs Cal Poly, 2/11/09), Mark Hill (5-10, 175, Junior, Los Angeles, Ca) came off the bench to start for an injured Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) and responded with six points, four assists and two steals in 27 minutes ... Against the Mustangs, Willie Galick (6-8, 225, Junior, Forward, Nanaimo, B.C.) and Tony Osunsanmi (6-4, 190, Junior, Forward, Ontario, Ca) came off the bench and responded with 17 rebounds, eleven for Galick and six for Osunsanmi ... After Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) suffered a concussion in the early minutes of the game at UCSB (1/29/09), Rodrigue Mels (6-3, 180, Senior, Guard, French Caribbean, Guadeloupe) came off the bench to score 16 points and grab seven rebounds, and followed that up with an 11-point, five rebound performance in a start in the next game at Cal Poly (1/31/09) ... Since moving into the starting lineup four games ago, Vincent Cordell (6-6, 210, Junior, Forward, Huntsville, Al) has grabbed 23 rebounds, including a career-high eleven against Cal State Bakersfield (2/5/09) ... In 16 minutes off the bench in a recent game against Cal State Bakersfield (2/5/09), Therin Taylor (6-6, 185, Junior, Forward/Guard, Richmond, Ca) scored a career-high 13 points (6-for-9 from the floor) along with three rebounds ... In his last four games off the bench, Taylor has grabbed 15 rebounds in 73 minutes of play.

Defensive Data ...
Following a 91-87 loss to Cal State Fullerton (1/21/09), head coach Bobby Braswell made it very clear to the Matadors that "DEFENSE wins games" ... Since that time, the Matadors have won five straight games, thanks in part to their defensive intensity ... In wins over UC Irvine (74-55, 1/24/09), at UCSB (72-70, 1/29/09), at Cal Poly (79-68, 1/31/09), vs Cal State Bakersfield (79-62, 2/5/09) and Cal Poly (67-55, 2/11/09), CSUN has held the opposition to a .363 shooting percentage (98-for-270) ... In all five games, the Matadors have outrebounded their opponents (205-169), forced the opposition into 89 turnovers, and collected 37 steals. matador memo ... Cal State Northridge has taken over the lead in the Big West Conference in scoring offense (74.3 ppg) ... The Matadors are also first in the conference in rebounding (38.5 ppg), field goal pct. defense (.413), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.316) and steals (8.48 spg) ... Cal State Northridge remains second in the Big West in scoring margin (+3.3), rebounding margin (+3.5) and assists (14.76 apg).

Highlander Hoopla ...
UC Riverside is 14-9 overall and 6-5 in the Big West Conference ... The Highlanders have won three games in a row, including a 73-70 double overtime decision over Long Beach State (2/11/09) ... Senior guard Aaron Scott, who leads the team in rebounding (6.6 rpg)., led UCR with 26 points and ten rebounds ... Junior guard Kyle Austin continues to lead the team in scoring (16.8 ppg), and is second in rebounding (6.3 rpg) ... Austin had 23 points in the win over the 49ers.

Series Saga ...
Cal State Northridge leads the series with UC Riverside, 32-28 ... Their last meeting (1/14/09) resulted in a 64-56 victory for the Matadors as five CSUN players scored in double figures ... Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, F/G, Cerritos, Ca) put together 14 points (4-for-5 from 3-point territory) while Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) chipped in with 13 points and five assists ... It was the fifth straight victory for CSUN on UCR's home court ... Last year (2/16/08) at The Matadome, Jenkins talied a team-high 18 points along with seven assists and six steals in a 73-61 CSUN victory ... Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Center, Phoenix, Az) collected a team-high ten rebounds ... Cal State Northridge has won the last four meetings against UC Riverside at The Matadome.

Fast Facts ...
Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Center, Phoenix, Az) continues to attack the boards in an attempt to win the conference rebounding title for a second straight season ... In the last eight games, Townsend has grabbed 86 rebounds (10.8 rpg) including a season-high 16 boards at Long Beach State (1/17/09) and 15 rebounds against UC Irvine (1/24/09) ... In six games this year, Townsend has grabbed double-digits in rebounds ... Last year, Townsend became the first player in CSUN history to lead the league in rebounding (9.9 rpg) ... This season, Townsend has moved to the top of the rebounding leading board in the conference at 8.6 rpg ... Townsend is averaging 11.9 ppg, second-best on the Matadors and ninth-best in the league ... Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) has quietly put together an excellent season in 2008-09 ... Haynes has scored in double-digits in 13 of the 20 games he has played including a career-high 18 points (6-for-8 from the floor, 4-for-6 from behind the arc) at Cal State Fullerton (12/29/08) and another 18 points against UC Davis (1/5/09) ... Haynes, a team captain, is shooting .467 (42-for-90) from behind the arc, tops on the team and third-best in the Big West Conference ... In his last 12 games, Haynes has hit 31-of-58 shots from behind the arc for .534 ... Haynes has made at least one 3-pointer in 19 straight games ... Overall from the field, in ten of the last 14 games, Haynes has hit 50 percent or better in each game.

Northridge Notes ...
With Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) indefinitely away from the team tending to legal matters, Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) has taken over the scoring lead among active players at 11.9 ppg (#9 in the BWC) ... Townsend posted career-highs in points (25) and field goals (11) in a recent game against UC Davis (1/5/09) ... Townsend stands on top in rebounds at 8.6 per game (#1 in the BWC) ... Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Albuquerque, NM) is #1 in the Big West in assists (127, 6.05 apg) and fourth in steals (28, 1.33 spg).

Coaches Corner ...
Bobby Braswell, the 2007-08 Big West Coach of the Year, is in his 13th season as head coach of the Cal State Northridge Matadors ... Braswell has coached 376 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 199-177 (.529) ... Braswell has guided Cal State Northridge to post-season play in each of his 12 seasons, reaching the conference tournament championship game on four occasions ... In past seasons under Braswell, the Matadors have prided themselves on tough defense and a productive offense ... Last year, the Matadors forced the opponents into 557 turnovers, produced 274 steals (#1 in the Big West, #15 in the nation), and outrebounded the opposition, 1,113-1,092 ... Braswell's teams have been ranked in the Top 25 in steals nationally in eleven of the last 12 seasons.

Pre-Season Potpourri ...
In its pre-season college basketball issue, Sports Illustrated has predicted a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the Matadors ... This recognition is just the latest in a series of lofty predictions for the 2007-08 Big West regular season tri-champions ... Cal State Northridge was ranked 25th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 pre-season poll ... The Matadors generated 118 points, and was only one of four teams from the West to be ranked in the Top 25 among mid-major teams ... The other west teams were Gonzaga (#1, 754 points), St. Mary's (#3, 616 points), and San Diego (#8, 481 points) ... For the first time in school history, the Matadors received a vote in the pre-season Associated Press men's basketball poll ... Cal State Northridge was the only school from the Big West Conference to receive a vote in the Associated Press pre-season poll.

Team Talk ...
Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az), Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca), Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) and Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) lead a chorus of eight talented letter winners plus the influx of four new recruits and four redshirts in 2008-09 ... Townsend led the Big West in rebounding (9.8 rpg) and blocked shots (1.3 bpg) while Jenkins led the conference in assists (191, 6.4 apg) ... Tresvant led the team in scoring (13.9 ppg) despite the fact he didn't start one game last year ... Haynes is a three-year starter who provides offensive firepower from behind the three-point line ... There is plenty of veteran experience from such players as Rodrigue Mels (6-3, 180, Senior, Guard, Les Abymes, Guadeloupe), Tony Osunsanmi (6-4, 190, Junior, Forward, Ontario, Ca), Therin Taylor (6-6, 185, Junior, Forward, Richmond, Ca) and Michael Lizarraga (6-7, 230, Sophomore, Forward, Dixon, Ca.) ... Four redshirts are expected to play a lot of minutes this year ... This quartet includes Willie Galick (6-8, 225, RS Junior, Forward, Nanaimo, B.C.), Jermaine Smith (6-9, 230, RS Junior, Center, Irvington, NJ), Mark Hill (5-11, 175, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and Matthew Wallace (6-2, 170, RS Freshman, Junior, Los Angeles, Ca) ... The list of new players includes Vincent Cordell (6-6, 210, Junior, Forward, Huntsville, Al), Xavier Crawford (7-0, 220, Junior, Center, Richfield, Mn), Kenny Daniels (6-4, 210, Junior, Forward/Guard, St. Louis, Mo) and Dallas Rutherford (6-2, 175, Freshman, Guard, Northridge, Ca) ... Last year in chalking up a 20-10 record, CSUN led the BWC in holding the opposition to only .419 shooting, .307 in 3-point field goal percentage defense, steals (274), rebounding (37.1 rpg) and blocked shots (3.23 bpg) ... CSUN returns four of its top six scorers from a year ago.

Graduated Gossip ...
All four seniors on last year's 20-10 Matador team are doing just fine ... Calvin Chitwood is playing professional basketball in Japan, while Jayme Miller is playing professionally in Holland, while Jonathan Heard is playing professionally in Finland ... Rai Colston is an assistant basketball coach at Chaminade High School in Woodland Hills ... Chitwood is playing for Niigata Albirex BB ... Chitwood, a four-year starter, ended his CSUN career as the school's #10 all-time leading scorer (1,170 points) ... Heard, who ended his four-year Matador career as the school's #3 all-time leading scorer (1,362 points) and #9 all-time rebounder (534), is playing for Team LoKoKo in Finland ... Miller, who started all 30 games in 2007-08, and provided strength and leadership during his senior season, is playing for Aris Friesland (Holland) in the Dutch Professional League ... During their tenure at Cal State Northridge, Chitwood, Heard, Miller and Colston combined to play 350 games, score 3,065 points, and grab 1,311 rebounds.

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