For the first time since 1983-84 the CSUN men’s basketball team has started its season with a 4-0 record.
This was accomplished Wednesday night as the Matadors came from behind after halftime to defeat the host Cleveland State Vikings 78-68 at Wolstein Center.
“I told the team this game would be a grinder,” said Bobby Braswell, head coach. “But we played with composure, hit some key baskets and played defense.”
CSUN jumped out to an early 18-10 lead, but Cleveland State countered with an 11-0 run over the next couple minutes to surge ahead of the Matadors. Cleveland State’s largest lead was five at 31-26, but senior forward Calvin Chitwood drained a three with time expiring to cut the lead to two at halftime.
Cleveland State kept its lead for more than seven minutes until a triple by junior guard Deon Tresvant put the Matadors back in front. CSUN never trailed from that point on despite the Vikings’ attempts to catch the Matadors. Northridge’s largest lead was ten at 67-57 with about four minutes to play. Cleveland State cut the lead to six on two separate occasions, but Chitwood provided some big baskets both times. Cleveland got to within six at 67-61 when Chitwood nailed a three with just over two minutes to play and then provided two free-throws when the Vikings got the score to 74-68 with 34 seconds left.
Chitwood led the Matadors with 22 points. Junior center Tremaine Townsend had another double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Junior guard Josh Jenkins had 14 points and senior forward Jonathan Heard had 10 points. Heard now has 1,085 career points, placing him at 10th on the all-time CSUN scoring list.
“We have six or seven players who can score in double figures and tonight we had four players who scored in double-digits,” Braswell said. “We are very hard to defend because we have so much depth. It is more than I have had in recent years.”
Junior guard Cedric Jackson was the only Cleveland State player in double figures, as he scored a game-high 24 points.
CSUN hit 10-17 shots (59 percent) from the three-point line, including 6-10 (60 percent) in the second half. On the other hand, Cleveland State shot 3-13 (23 percent) from the three-point line, including a 1-7 (14 percent) mark in the first half.
The Matadors continued their road trip, traveling to Des Moines, Iowa to compete in the Drake University Tournament over the weekend.