In the final game of the season and the final game of senior forward Tre Hale-Edmerson’s storied Matador career, the Matadors were outlasted by the UC Davis Aggies, 87-83, in three overtimes.
The Aggies ended up out rebounding and having a better field goal percentage than the Matadors.
“Because they have two post-up guys, the tempo the game with those guys,” said CSUN Head Coach Reggie Theus. “It gave them the ability to have more stamina down the stretch and eventually it wore us down.”
Despite the loss, there was a celebratory and jubilance that filled the gym to honor Hale-Edmerson.
“Although we didn’t get the win, it was good to have all the people in that atmosphere,” he said. “I had people clapping and cheering whenever I was out and they were announcing me in.”
“It was a good game to end on.”
Hale-Edmerson was the only senior being honored after senior guard Landon Drew left the team in January due to injury and senior center Olalekan Ajayi, who was not allowed to compete, due to a violation of team and university rules.
“I came in with five, six guys. It’s just crazy to see that I’m the last one here,” Hale-Edmerson said. “Especially with Landon [Drew], we’ve gone through every single thing together and that’s what was tough for me was that we didn’t end it together; we traveled all that way.”
Hale-Edmerson had cheers toward him throughout the game and saw fans with face cut-outs of himself throughout the Matadome.
“I thought Tre’s senior season was really good; I thought he played very well as a senior,” Theus said. “He showed leadership; Tre did a lot of growing up in three years.”
“Tre got very close to being ran off the team a couple times, but showed his value.”
Tre Hale-Edmerson gets an offensive rebound and a putback bucket on #SeniorNight pic.twitter.com/bap9nHvj5P
— CSUN Cape Crew (@CSUNCapeCrew) March 6, 2016
As for the game, the Matadors controlled the pace for most of the game. Overall, the team lapses were the name of the game seeing the Matadors had multiple chances to pull away.
CSUN trailed the Aggies early on, 8-2, but they battled back.
At the 5:59 mark, a jumper by junior guard Aaron Parks nodded the game at 17.
CSUN was outshooting the Aggies 43 percent to 32 percent.
A three-pointer by sophomore guard Micheal Warren gave the Matadors an 11-point lead, their largest of the game to make the score, 43-32.
The Aggies went on a run of their own over a span of seven minutes to take the lead.
The Aggies led the Matadors, 46-45, with just over seven minutes to go in the game.
With 46 seconds left in the second half, the Matadors trailed the Aggies, 56-51.
However, the CSUN would close the gap in the next 18 seconds and force overtime after consecutive baskets from Parks and Warren.
The teams battled in the extra frame, with the Matadors clinging to a 67-63 lead with 23 seconds left.
But defensive lapses and missed free-throws allowed the Aggies to get easy lay-ups and eventually tied the game at 69 and brought on a second overtime.
The second overtime continued to see the two teams break even, and they headed to a decisive third overtime tied at 77.
#MARCHMADNESS! TRIPLE OT! pic.twitter.com/A4GtwQTb1r
— Big West MBB (@BigWestMBB) March 6, 2016
The Aggies seized control halfway through the extra-time and never looked back.
In the first four minutes of the third overtime, the Aggies went on a 10-4 run powered by strong play in the paint and finally knocking down jump shots that led to a 87-83 victory.
The loss caps off another disappointing season on and off the court under Theus’ watch, as they the CSUN imposed a postseason ban for the program.
In spite of the program’s shortcomings, Parks remains optimistic and hungry.
“I’m ready to heal back up and get back to work in the summer,” he said.