February 23, 2010

CSUN Faces UCSB At The Thunderdome

Feb. 23, 2010

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Northridge Notes
Four more Big West Conference games (two away, two home), and the remaining two weeks of the conference season will be an opportunity for the Matadors to position itself for a higher seed as the Big West Tournament (Mar. 10-13) approaches ... Cal State Northridge is mired in seventh place in the conference at 5-7, but only a game and a half out of third place ... The first order of business is a Wednesday date (2/24/10, 7:00 p.m.) at UC Santa Barbara ... The Matadors have won the last four meetings against the Gauchos ... The Matadors have won the last two meetings on UCSB's home court, the Thunderdome.

Close Calls
Hang on to your seats ... Matador basketball has been intense from start to finish ... Nine games (3-6) have been decided by five points ... Eight CSUN games (2-6) have been decided by three points or less ... CSUN has played four one-point games (0-4) this year ... Three of the four one-point losses were against Big West schools, a 73-72 loss at Cal Poly (1/23/10), a 69-68 loss to LBS (1/28/10) and a 113-112 overtime decision to Cal State Fullerton (2/10/10) ... Prior to this year, CSUN had played in only three one-point games against BWC schools since joining the league in 2001-02 ... CSUN hasn't played four one-point contests since the 1992-93 campaign ... Cal State Northridge has not played so many close games (five points or less) since the 2004-05 season when the Matadors played eleven games (5-6) decided by five points or less ... During the 1999-00 season, CSUN also played eleven games decided by five games or less (7-4).

Triple Text
The classic game (2/13/10) between Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton featured a number of mind boggling stats ... The two teams combined for 225 points, 155 field goal attempts, 110 free throw attempts, 109 rebounds, 81 free throws made, 75 fouls, eleven player foul outs, 17 ties and 15 lead changes ... Ten players scored in double figures ... CSUN's bench outscored CSF's bench, 77-28 ... The nine-member Big West schools have played 15,424 games dating back to the 1921-22 season ... Only 20 of the 15,424 games have gone into triple overtime ... CSUN's 52-year basketball history includes just two triple overtime games ... The Matadors are 1-1.

Player Points
Several CSUN players are among the stat leaders in the Big West ... Lenny Daniel (6-7, 210, Jr, F, Richmond, Va) has moved to the top of the blocked shots list (34, 1.4 bpg), third in rebounding (191, 7.6 rpg) and sixth in field goal percentage (.491) ... Daniel has recorded a team-best seven double-doubles (points-rebounds) ... That stat is second-best in the conference behind LBS's T.J. Robinson's 16 ... Kenny Daniels (6-4, 210, Sr, F/G, St. Louis, Mo) is fourth and eighth, respectively, in field goal pct. (.504) and scoring (14.8 ppg) ... Daniels also ranks third in free throw percentage (.813) ... Vinnie McGhee (6-0, 165, RS So, G, Oakland, Ca) is eighth in the BWC in three-pointers made at 1.7 per game ... Mark Hill (5-11, 175, Sr, G, Los Angeles, Ca) remains fourth in the Big West Conference in steals (38, 1.5 spg).

Northridge Notables
Kenny Daniels (6-4, 210, Senior, F/G, St. Louis, Mo) has been CSUN's most productive offensive player in the last five games ... Daniels has put together totals of 18, 24, 25, 19 and 15 points in his last five games against Long Beach State (2/6/10), Cal State Bakersfield (2/10/10), Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10), Cal Poly (2/17/10) and Drake (2/20/10) ... Daniels has hit 36-of-61 shots (.590) along with 27 rebounds ... Lenny Daniel (6-7, 210, Junior, Forward, Richmond, Va) has collected double-digit performances in points in eleven of his last 13 games ... Four of those games have been double--doubles (points-rebounds).

Lizarraga Ledger
Michael Lizarraga (6-7, 230, Junior, Forward, Dixon, Ca.) continues to be an inspiration and a hero to many people ... Lizarraga is believed to be the only deaf player competing in NCAA Division I major college basketball ... Lizarraga has been the subject of numerous feature stories including the Los Angeles Daily News (2/4/10), ESPNU, mattbrownphoto.com and upcoming major features on Channel 2 in Los Angeles, the Daily Sundial and during halftime of the CSUN-UC Irvine game on Feb. 27 on Fox Sports ... Lizarraga has been a starter in eight of the team's 27 games ... His best game of the year was an eight-point, six rebound, three block and two steal performance at Washington (12/6/09) ... Lizarraga has grabbed six or more rebounds in five games.

Charity Chatter
With at least five more games to play (four conference, at least one Big West Tournament game), CSUN is on pace to break the school record for single season free throw attempts ... CSUN has attempted 783 free throws (#7 all-time in school history), an average of 29.0 attempts per game ... At that pace, CSUN would finish the year with 928, easily breaking the school record of 868 (26 games) during the 1966-67 season ... The 783 charity tosses ranks CSUN fifth nationally behind Kansas St. (805), Morgan State (795), Vermont (791), Wyoming (784), according to the NCAA ... The 49 free throw attempts against Seattle (1/11/10) and Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10) are third-best for a single season in school history.

Conference Corner
Cal State Northridge will be among eight schools that will be a part of the fourth annual 76 Classic to be held on Thanksgiving weekend in 2010 at the Anaheim Convention Center ... In addition to the Matadors, the tourney field includes Oklahoma State (Big 12), Penn State (Big Ten), DePaul (Big East), Stanford (Pac-10), Tulsa (Conference USA), UNLV (Mountain West) and Virginia Tech (ACC) ... The 76 Classic features four games each day through three days, Nov. 25, 26 and 28 ... Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a backet-tournament format ... The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in a championship game on Sunday, Nov. 28 ... The BWC is hosting the 76 Classic ... Games will be televised on ESPN, ESPNU and ESPN2 ... The BWC and the Honda Center (home of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks) have teamed up to form a five-year partnership to host the annual men and women's post-season basketball tournies beginning in 2011 ... The Big West Tournament is the oldest NCAA Division I post-season basketball tournament in the west dating back to 1976 ... The Big West Tournament has been held at the Anaheim Convention Center (1977-82 and 2001-2010).

Record Review
Lenny Daniel (6-7, 210, Junior, Forward, Richmond, Va) is approaching the school record for single season blocks ... Daniel has 34, only three short of the school record of 37 held by Tremaine Townsend (2007-08) ... Daniel has collected five blocks in three games this year (Idaho on 12/3/09, UC Riverside on 1/14/10 and CS Fullerton on 2/13/10), one short of the school record ... Kenny Daniels (6-4, 210, Senior, Forward, St. Louis, Mo) had 13 free throws against Idaho (12/3/09) which ranks seventh-best in the school record book ... Daniels' 39 points vs Idaho (12/3/09) is third-best for a single game in CSUN history ... Only 40 points by Mark Cooley at Cal State Fullerton (2/18/67) and a school record 47 points by Ollie Carter vs Westmont (2/1/66) are better ... Daniels hit 12-of-17 shots along with 13 of 15 free throws ... Daniels completed the evening with a career-high ten rebounds in 31 minutes of play ... The 39 points is the most by a BWC player in 2009-10 ... Mark Hill (5-11, 175, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) had 12 free throws against Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10), ninth-best in school history ... CSUN has made 525 free throws, third-best in school history ... The school record is 613 (2000-01) ... The 783 free throw attempts is seventh-best in school history ... The school record is 868 (1966-67) ... CSUN is approaching the single season Top 10 for offensive rebounds ... CSUN currently has 363 ... The #10 spot is 375 during the 1998-99 campaign ... CSUN has 658 defensive rebounds, sixth-best for a single year ... All the following record book stats took place vs Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10) in the classic triple overtime game - the 37 free throws made is second-best all-time at CSUN, the 49 free throw attempts are third-best for a single game, the 39 CSUN fouls tied The Matadome record originally set vs Nevada (11/17/01), the 112 points scored by CSUN is 15th-best for a single game in school history, the 61 CSUN rebounds were ninth-best for a single game in school history, and the seven CSUN team blocks were seventh-best for a single game in CSN history.

Defensive Dialogue
Every coach will tell you "Defense Wins" ... In five of CSUN's ten wins, the Matadors have held the opposition to under 40 percent shooting ... From behind the arc, the stats show an impressive slate of six games in which CSUN has held the enemy under 32 percent from behind the arc ... In the ten wins, Cal State Northridge has outrebounded the opposition seven times including 54 rebounds against Seattle (1/11/10) and 50 against Cal State Bakersfield (11/20/09) ... CSUN's defense resulted in opponents lows (47 points, field goals made with 15, and field goal attempts with 47) in a 63-47 win at UC Riverside (2/4/10) ... The 12 steals at UC Riverside were season-bests.

team totals
The latest Big West overall stats show CSUN is first in rebounding (37.8 rpg), second in scoring (72.1 ppg), and third in steals (7.4 spg) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.344) ... The 112 points scored by CSUN vs Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10) is the second--best effort by a Big West team this year ... CS Fullerton tallied 113 points against CSUN (2/13/10).

Gaucho Gossip
UCSB has won five games in a row, are 16-8 overall, and in first place in the BWC at 10-3 ... UCSB is 9-2 at the Thunderdome ... Sophomore guard Orlando Johnson is the scoring leader (17.8 ppg) along with sophomore forward James Nunnally at 14.8 ppg ... Johnson and Nunnally are each averaging a team-leading 5.5 rpg.

Series Story
CSUN has won the last four games in the 40-game series, but the Gauchos still hold a 27-13 lead ... Earlier this year (1/30/10), the Matadors recorded a 76-69 over the Gauchos at The Matadome ... Willie Galick's (6-8, 225, Senior, Center, Nanaimo, B.C) 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals paced the CSUN attack ... Rashaun McLemore (6-5, 200, Junior, G/F, Richmond, Va) added 14 points and five rebounds ... Last year at the Thunderdome, CSUN scored a 72-70 victory on a layup basket by Vincent Cordell (6-6, 210, Senior, Forward, Huntsville, Al) as time ran out ... It was the second straight win for CSUN at UC Santa Barbara.

Coaching Chatter
Bobby Braswell is in his 14th season as head coach of the Cal State Northridge Matadors ... His overall record is 215-198 (.521) ... Braswell has guided CSUN to back-to-back Big West regular season championships (2007-08, 2008-09) ... For his efforts, Braswell was awarded Big West Coach of the Year honors in both seasons ... Bob Williams is in his 12th season at UCSB with a record of 195-154.

History Hoopla
The 2009-10 season marks the 52nd season of Cal State Northridge basketball ... Since the program's inception in 1958-59, CSUN has posted an all-time record of 687-732 (.484) ... In the 1,419 games that CSUN has played since the inaugural 1958-59 campaign, the Matadors have scored 104,795 points.

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