Cal State Northridge (16-17) vs. Long Beach State (15-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 11:59 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Honda Center (17,608) -- Anaheim, California. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: CSUN 11-3, LBSU 9-4. Away Record: CSUN 2-14, LBSU 5-9. Neutral Record: CSUN 3-0, LBSU 1-3. Conference Record: CSUN 7-9, LBSU 11-6. Series Record: Long Beach State leads, 33-21.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams with overall records below .500 find themselves in the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament, as the Cal State Northridge Matadors go up against the Long Beach State 49ers at the Honda Center.
The fifth-seeded Matadors were a team that had won just four times in 18 attempts away from home this season heading into Thursday's meeting with Hawaii, but head coach Reggie Theus talked his players into fighting into overtime where they captured an 87-84 win in order to advance. Cal State Northridge, which won this event back in 2009, is 8-9 in the tournament all- time.
As for the 49ers, a squad which shows a 15-16 mark overall, they are the third seed in this year's tourney and are aiming to get back to the title game for the fourth time in the last five years. On Thursday, the program took down Cal State Fullerton, 66-56, moving LBSU closer to potentially adding to the five trophies it already has from this event over the years.
These two teams met just eight days ago at the Matadome, with the hosts posting a 91-83 win, which means the all-time series now favors LBSU by a 33-21 margin.
The winner of this meeting will take on either Cal Poly or UC Irvine in the championship game on Saturday, for the right to represent the league in the NCAA Tournament.
Josh Greene scored 27 points, hitting a couple of key 3-pointers for Cal State Northridge late, as the Matadors defeated Hawaii in overtime last night in Anaheim. Greene finished 4-of-8 behind the 3-point line and a perfect 9-of-9 at the free-throw line for the Matadors. Also scoring in double figures for CSUN were Stephan Hicks and Aaron Parks with 21 and 13 points, respectively. While he scored just six points on the night, to go along with eight rebounds, Tre Hale-Edmerson played a key role as he converted a pair of late free throws in overtime to give CSUN some breathing room.
Stephen Maxwell not only tallied nine points and a team-best nine rebounds, he also knocked down a crucial bank shot late in order to keep hope alive for the eventual winners.
Long Beach State trailed by four points about seven minutes into the second half on Thursday, but the team responded with a late run that pushed it out to a 13-point advantage en route to the double-digit win. Mike Caffey shot only 3-of-9 from the field for the 49ers, yet still led four players in double figures with his 14 points, followed by Tyler Lamb with 13 points. Travis Hammonds accounted for 12 points in a reserve role, and A.J. Spencer 10 and seven rebounds for a squad that outscored Fullerton by an 18-7 margin at the free-throw line, and held the Titans to just 33.3 percent shooting from the floor.
Going to overtime in the final game of the night is not the way the Matadors wanted their meeting with Hawaii to play out on Thursday, but the bottom line is that Northridge has advanced and will not let this opportunity escape it.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Northridge 64, Long Beach State 61
03/14 10:43:34 ET