Cal Poly (13-12) at Cal State-Northridge (13-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 28, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Matadome (1,600) -- Northridge, California.
Television: None. Home Record: Cal Poly 11-1, CSUN 5-5. Away Record: Cal Poly
2-11, CSUN 5-10. Neutral Record: Cal Poly 0-0, CSUN 3-0. Conference Record:
Cal Poly 8-6, CSUN 4-11. Series Record: Cal State Northridge leads, 46-44.
GAME NOTES: The Cal State-Northridge Matadors attempt to halt their four-game
losing streak on Thursday night, as they welcome the Cal Poly Mustangs to the
Matadome for a Big West Conference clash.
Cal Poly hosted a BracketBuster matchup with Loyola Marymount last Saturday
and came away with a thrilling 63-60 victory for its fourth win in the past
five games to jump above .500 overall at 13-12. The Mustangs are in good
position in the Big West standings with just four games to play (8-6).
Meanwhile, CSUN has been one of the more disappointing teams in the Big West
this season, going 13-15 overall and just 4-11 in conference. Since winning
three straight decisions a few weeks ago, the Matadors have fallen back on
their losing ways with four straight setbacks, the most recent of which being
a heartbreaking 73-72 decision at Southern Utah last Saturday.
CSUN has a slim 46-44 lead over Cal Poly in the all-time series, but the
Mustangs won the first meeting this season, 75-64, in San Luis Obispo on Jan.
26. However, the Matadors have won five in a row in Northridge.
After falling behind by seven points at the half of its latest game, Cal Poly
fought its way back down the stretch, leading up to Dylan Royer's game-winning
3-pointer with less than a second remaining. It was one of only two long-range
buckets on the night in 18 attempts (.111) for the team, but the Mustangs made
up for it with a strong shooting effort overall (.478), as well as with a 17-
of-20 showing at the foul line. Brian Bennett was nearly flawless on his way
to 23 points, shooting 9-of-11 from the floor. Chris Eversley and Royer added
13 and 12 points, respectively, and while Jamal Johnson didn't attempt a field
goal, he handed out eight assists and committed zero turnovers. On the season,
Cal Poly is being outshot, 46.3 percent to 41.7 percent, but it still boasts a
+1.8 scoring margin thanks mostly to its strong free-throw percentage (.733)
and a +2.9 turnover margin. Eversley is one of the Big West's top forwards
with 15.5 ppg and 7.4 rpg, while Royer and Bennett are both on the verge of
double-digits with 9.9 ppg apiece.
CSUN appeared ready to snap its current losing streak when Stephan Hicks' dunk
with 21 seconds remaining last Saturday put it up by one, but it fell victim
to SUU's game-winning bucket on the ensuing possession. It was a stellar
shooting night for the Matadors, both from the field (.453) and the foul line
(.821), but only one of their buckets came from 3-point range and they
committed 15 turnovers. Stephen Maxwell was impressive in the low block with
20 points and nine rebounds, while Brandon Perry netted 12 points in 16
minutes off the bench. Scoring points is rarely an issue for CSUN, as it ranks
second in the Big West with an average of 75.4 ppg, but its place near the
bottom of the standings has come due to its porous defense, which yields
nearly 74 ppg. Hicks is the spark plug with 16.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 2.0 spg,
while Maxwell brings 14.9 ppg and 8.1 rpg to the table. Josh Greene rounds out
one of the league's top scoring trios with 13.1 ppg.
Cal Poly is clearly the team with the most momentum, but it has played
surprisingly bad on the road (2-11), meaning the Matadors have a great chance
to snap their skid in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State-Northridge 76, Cal Poly 71
02/28 10:36:14 ET
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