The CSUN men’s basketball team has played a tough non-conference schedule thus far and their record has shown, as the Matadors are 3-7 on the young season.
The team, however, has shown signs of steady play, as they were able to gain a halftime lead on the No. 2 ranked UCLA Bruins and have only lost one home game so far, going 3-1 at the Matadome.
The Matadors were winless in their two Pac-12 road games this season, losing to Stanford and the Bruins.
CSUN also went winless at the Wooden Legacy Tournament at Cal State Fullerton, but head coach Reggie Theus believes their toughest tests are behind them.
“With the schedule that we have, we have to win our home games,” Theus said. “For 25 minutes in every game we’ve played well, with the exception of Texas A&M.”
The leading scorer for the Matadors has been junior forward Tavrion Dawson, who is averaging 14.8 points per-game on 58 percent shooting from the field, good enough for fourth in the conference in both categories.
Dawson also hit a game-winning three-pointer as time expired against Idaho State (1-8), winning it for the Matadors, 79-76. The team traveled immediately after that game to Queens, N.Y., to face St. Johns (5-5) where they lost 76-70.
“What I told our guys and what I showed them on film is that we didn’t play poorly; we didn’t play well enough to win,” Theus said. “But if we have that effort that we put against New Mexico, the effort that we had against UCLA, that’s more of who we are.”
The Matadors have three more games, two of which will be at home, to prepare themselves before conference play begins Jan. 4 against UC Riverside. Theus believes his battle-tested team will be ready by then.
“We are not going to play anybody in our conference better than the teams we’ve played in the non-conference schedule,” Theus said.
The Matadors’ next game will be at home against Bethesda on Dec. 16. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. in the Matadome.