Cal State Northridge Earns Hard-Fought 97-89 victory at Pepperdine
Malibu, Calif. - The 2007-08 Cal State Northridge men's basketball team is blessed with talented depth. Head coach Bobby Braswell prefers to call it a "team" and that proved to be the winning forumula on Saturday night as the Matadors earned a hard-fought 97-89 non-league victory at Pepperdine University.
Guards Deon Tresvant and Josh Jenkins came off the bench to combine for 35 points, seven assists, five steals and five rebounds to push the Matador season record to 2-0.
Tresvant scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the second half, including several key points, while Jenkins tallied nine of his 15 points in the second half as the Matadors withstood several late challenges by the Waves.
It was the Matadors second victory ever on Pepperdine's home court.
After building a 48-43 halftime lead, thanks in part to nine points apiece by Jonathan Heard and Tremaine Townsend, and a shooting effort of 50 percent (20-for-40), the Matadors extended the lead to 12 points, 55-43, with 16:09 remaining. A layup at 9:03 and a three-pointer by Tresvant at 8:19 gave the Matadors a 16-point advantage, 80-64.
"Coach Braswell told me to attack the basket," said Tresvant, who hit 4-of-5 shots in the final 20 minutes. "I found my shooting rhythm."
Pepperdine cut the margin to 15 points, 80-65, with 8:02 remaining, but Jenkins upped the lead to 17 points, 82-65, with 7:09 left.
Two free throws by Tresvant with 4:58 remaining gave Cal State Northridge its biggest lead of the game, 84-66, with 4:48 left.
Pepperdine refused to fold. A 7-0 run in the next 60 seconds clearly pushed the momentum in the Waves direction. However, back came the Matadors. A free throw by Jenkins and a three-pointer by Rob Haynes pushed the margin to 15 points, 88-73, with 3:28 left.
Back came the Waves. An 8-2 run by the Waves, which included two three-pointers, cut the Matador lead to 90-81, with 2:18 to play.
Tresvant stopped Pepperdine's rally with two free throws to make it, 92-81, with 2:05 left.
Again the pesky Pepperdine attack continued to mount a comeback. Six straight points cut the CSUN lead to only five points, 92-87 with 1:25 remaining.
However, Haynes hit a three-pointer and Jenkins added three free throws down the stretch to give the Matadors the victory in the end, 97-89.
"We executed as a team, and the bench played an important role tonight," said Tresvant. "Despite Pepperdine's late rally, we didn't let up. We continued to work the ball to get good shots. We stay focused."
Braswell and his coaching staff sets goals for each game, and several were attained in CSUN's first victory at Pepperdine since the 1996-97 season, Braswell's first year as head coach at CSUN. The Matador defense held the Waves to only 40 percent shooting (29-72), held the home team to only 29 percent from three-point range (20-for-35) and outrebounded the Waves, 50-43. The Matadors also forced Pepperdine into 26 turnovers.
"This was a great team effort," said Braswell. "We kept our poise, and we are blessed to have such excellent depth."
Jayme Miller led Matador rebounders with a career-high ten while Tremaine Townsend added 14 points, nine rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes off the bench. Other double-digit scorers for Northridge included Jonathan Heard with 13 (along with six rebounds) and Rob Haynes with ten (along with six rebounds). Calvin Chitwood collected six rebounds. Josh Jenkins collected six assists and four steals in 22 minutes.
Cal State Northridge hit 51 percent (35-for-69) from the floor, and 8-of-16 from behind the arc.
Cal State Northridge returns to action on Wednesday (Nov. 21) against Cal State Bakersfield. Tipoff at The Matadome is slated for 7:05 p.m.