Cal State Northridge (8-6) at South Dakota (3-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 2, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: DakotaDome (10,000) -- Vermillion, South Dakota. Television: None. Home Record: Cal State Northridge 5-1, South Dakota 2-1. Away Record: Cal State Northridge 1-5, South Dakota 1-7. Neutral Record: Cal State Northridge 2-0, South Dakota 0-1. Conference Record: Cal State Northridge 0-0, South Dakota 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting
GAME NOTES: The Cal State Northridge Matadors and South Dakota Coyotes both look to rebound from losses as they clash for the first time in non-conference action.
Cal State Northridge had won three of its last four games, but suffered a 74-67 setback to Stephen F. Austin on Monday. The Matadors travel to South Dakota with an 8-6 overall record.
South Dakota has struggled this season with a 3-9 overall record, and has lost six games in a row. The Coyotes began the season 0-3, then won three consecutive contests to climb back to .500, but haven't picked up a win since Dec. 2. They're coming off an 85-59 loss to Youngstown State.
Northridge traveled to face Stephen F. Austin Monday, a team that has won 23 consecutive games on its home court. Northridge was defeated, despite an eight-point halftime lead that lasted well into the second half. Landon Drew and Stephan Hicks each scored 13 points against the Lumberjacks, leading the way for CSUN. Hicks also led the team in rebounding with nine. The Matadors lost even though they out-shot SFA, 48.8 percent to 42.9 in the game.
Hicks leads the team in scoring, averaging 17.5 ppg on 55.8 percent shooting from the floor. Hicks also pulls down 7.2 rpg, and averages 1.4 spg. Stephen Maxwell and Josh Greene each average double figures in scoring for the Matadors, with 16.4 ppg and 14.6 ppg, respectively. As a team, the Matadors are shooting 47 percent on the season.
The Coyotes fell behind early in their matchup with Youngstown State, as the Penguins jumped out to a 32-9 lead over South Dakota and cruised to a win. Trey Norris led the scoring charge for South Dakota, netting 16 points in the loss. Tyler Flack was next on the team with 13 points. Minus Flack, who was 5- of-5 shooting, the rest of the Coyotes shot just 28 percent from the floor.
Norris is third on the team, averaging 8.4 ppg. He leads the team with 17 steals and averages 5.3 apg. Junior Brandon Bos leads the team in scoring, averaging 13 ppg. Trevor Gruis nets 11.9 ppg and hauls in a team-leading 6.5 rpg. He also has registered 14 blocks this season.
Although the Coyotes have homecourt advantage, they've struggled to keep opponents from scoring. Two games ago, Morehead State dropped 120 points in 40 minutes of play against South Dakota. The Coyotes won't be able to halt Cal State Northridge, either.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Northridge 82, South Dakota 69
01/02 10:37:53 ET