Cal State-Northridge (5-0) vs. Northern Kentucky (0-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 18, 6:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100) -- San Diego, California. Television: None. Home Record: CSN 2-0, NKU 0-0. Away Record: CSN 1-0, NKU 0-1. Neutral Record: CSN 2-0, NKU 0-2. Conference Record: CSN 0-0, NKU 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Cal State-Northridge Matadors look to protect their undefeated record as they take on the Northern Kentucky Norse in the final game of the NUCDF Basketball Challenge at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
The Norse are still trying to pick up their first win of the season after dropping their first three contests to start the year. Northern Kentucky's most recent loss came on Saturday night when it suffered a 56-52 setback after letting Siena overcome a halftime deficit. NKU's defense was non-existent in the second half, as it let the Saints shoot 58.8 percent from the field to take control. Both of the team's other losses came in the NUCDF Basketball Challenge to Tulsa and San Diego.
Northridge is quietly off to an unbelievable start to the 2012-2013 season. The Mastodons are the only remaining unbeaten team from the Big West Conference. They improved to 5-0 on Friday by taking down the Danny Manning coached Golden Hurricane, 92-76. Manning had never lost a game as a head coach before the Mastodons buried Tulsa with 32 made free throws.
This will be the first time these schools square off on the basketball court in history.
Northridge was able to push past Tulsa to an easy win because of a stellar performance from junior Josh Greene. The Los Angeles native scored a game-high 28 points, dished out seven assists, and came away with five steals in what was the best performance on his career. Greene is averaging 14 points and 5.6 assists per game after his outburst. However, CSN is not a one man show. Greene got plenty of help from his teammates on Saturday as Stephan Hicks and Brandon Perry each tallied 16 points, while Landon Drew chipped in 10 points.
In Saturday's loss to Siena, Eshaunte Jones led NKU with 18 points on 40 percent shooting from the floor. The former Nebraska Cornhusker's strong performance raised his scoring average to a team-best 13 ppg. Ethan Faulkner added 10 points and was a rebound short of a double-double versus the Saints, but no other player on the squad scored in double figures. The offensive troubles for the Norse are understandable as a transitional period was expected during their first year as a Division I program.
NKU looks like it will inevitably become the Mastodons' next victim. It would be unfair to expect the Norse to take down any of their tough opponents this season, while they learn to adjust to a higher level of competition.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: CS-Northridge 81, Northern Kentucky 67
11/18 10:43:25 ET