Cal State Northridge (13-13) at UC Davis (10-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Pavilion (8,000) -- Davis, California. Television: None. Home Record: CSN 5-5, UC Davis 4-5. Away Record: CSN 5-8, UC Davis 4-8. Neutral Record: CSN 3-0, UC Davis 2-0. Conference Record: CSN 4-10, UC Davis 6-6. Series Record: CS-Northridge leads, 18-10.
GAMES NOTES: Big West leading scorer Corey Hawkins will lead the UC Davis Aggies in a conference battle with the Cal State Northridge Matadors at the Pavilion on Saturday night.
After a three-game winning streak, Cal State Northridge has fallen into a two- game slump. The most recent setback was a 66-59 loss to Pacific on Thursday. The defeat evened the Matadors' overall record (13-13) while dropping them to 4-10 in league play. As part of BracketBusters, Cal State Northridge will face Southern Utah its next time out before playing its final three contests of the regular season at home.
The Aggies blew by Hawaii, 89-65, on Thursday night to continue the trend of trading wins and losses over the last month. The Aggies have been worse in terms of overall record in comparison to the Matadors (10-13) but have clawed their way to an even 6-6 league record. The Aggies face their biggest test of the conference schedule next Wednesday on the road against league-leading Long Beach State.
For the third time in the last four meetings, UC Davis came out on top against Cal State Northridge earlier this season with a 74-71 road victory. The Matadors still lead the all-time series though with 18 wins in 28 total matchups.
Normally a strong team from the free-throw line, the Matadors managed to connect on just 18-of-31 shots from the free-throw line in the seven-point loss to Pacific. Coupled with its 38.8 percent overall field-goal percentage, the free-throw shooting really came back to bite the Matadors.
On the season Cal State Northridge has hit 71.8 percent of its attempts from the free-throw line, while ranking at the top of the Big West in attempts (616) and free-throws made (442). Those efforts have been part of the season that the Matadors are currently the second best scoring team in the conference (76 ppg) as well as one of the 30 best nationally. Defensively the Matadors come up short though as they let up 74 points per game on 46.4 percent shooting by their foes. Stephan Hicks (16.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Stephen Maxwell (15.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) are as fearsome a duo in the frontcourt as can be found in the Big West, as each ranks among the top 10 in the conference in scoring and rebounds. Josh Greene (13.3 ppg) provides another scoring option from the perimeter.
UC Davis had no problem lighting up the scoreboard, especially from beyond the arc against Hawaii. The Aggies knocked down 48.5 percent of their shots from the floor, including 11-of-19 from 3-point range, as five players scored in double figures in the 24-point rout.
Hawkins (19.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 apg) was yet again at the top of the score sheet in the contest as he padded his conference leading scoring average with 21 points. The 6-foot-3 guard has now scored at least 20 points in four of his last five games while adding strong efforts in rebounding and passing. Ryan Sypkens (14.5ppg) and J.T. Adenrele (12.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) are also scoring well for the Aggies, with each shooting above 48 percent from the field. Paolo Mancasola (5.4 ppg, 4.1 apg) isn't much of a scorer but is tied for second in the Big West in assists. UC Davis can keep up with Cal State Northridge on the offensive end as it scores 72.2 points per game on the second best field-goal percentage in the conference (.471).
With three of the top 10 scorers in the conference going at it in this game expect no shortage of offense. The Aggies will need Hawkins to be stellar yet again, as they contend with Hicks and Maxwell inside.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Davis 74, Cal State Northridge 70
02/16 11:13:20 ET