The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors drop a tough game to the visiting Dolphins

CSUN Matador guard Dionte Bostick goes for a lay-up at the CSUN vs Le Moyne university game on Nov. 21 in Northridge, Calif.

After spending 27 years in Division 2 of the NCAA, the Le Moyne Dolphins (2-4), have won their first game against a Division 1 opponent since becoming Division 1 themselves, defeating CSUN (3-2), 80-70 at the Premier America Credit Union Arena on Tuesday night.

Dolphins head coach Nate Champion said all the credit goes to his players.

“It was a special night all-way round, for men’s basketball and Le Moyne in general,” he said of his team’s achievement.

Le Moyne’s season opened to a rough start. The Dolphins lost on the road at Georgetown and then to Villanova. Both schools are huge basketball powerhouses with storied histories compared to the Dolphins.

“Playing those guys…helps us a lot as we prepare for our conference season,” Champion said.

However, despite only having one win against SUNY Canton, a Division 3 program, the Dolphins came out hot to start against the Matadors.

Luke Sutherland, a fifth-year senior, was stroking the ball for the Dolphins. He had 14 points at the half as he led the Dolphins’ offense the whole night.

Sutherland is a local product; he grew up in Syracuse, where Le Moyne is located. He said that being able to lead his team into a new era of Dolphin basketball is everything to him.

“Being from Syracuse, this means a lot to me. This is one of those jumps that is historic..it’s a dream come true to lead a school in my backyard,” he said, grinning from cheek to cheek.

The Matadors struggled to shoot the ball from three. They finished the night shooting a paltry 17.6 percent from behind the arc. This isn’t the first game where CSUN struggled to shoot the three ball as in wins over Idaho and Chicago State, the Matadors shot only 30 and 20 percent, respectively.

However, CSUN head coach Andy Newman said the difference between this game and those was the team’s defense and rebounding.

“When you aren’t playing well offensively, you have to be that much better defensively, which we were not today,” Newman said.

Le Moyne’s lead jumped as high as 14 points in the first half, but the Matadors didn’t let up and eventually cut the lead to just eight at halftime.

Despite the rough night shooting, CSUN guard Dionte Bostick used his elite athleticism to get to the rim time and again. He had his third straight 20-point performance as he finished with exactly 20.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair as both teams exchanged buckets consistently. Le Moyne played stingy defense to close out the game and limited the Matadors down the stretch offensively.

Dolphins Mike DePersia and Nate McClure each had three steals as they harassed the Matadors all night with their defensive effort.

DePersia nearly had a double-double, finishing with eight points and nine assists along with his three steals.

Something the Matadors need to clean up is their turnovers. They have turned the ball over 10 or more times in every game so far.

Matadors forward De’Sean Allen-Eikens continued his productive stretch on offense as he finished with 20 points. With totals of 20,19, and 18 in the last three games, Allen-Eikens is shaping up to be an offensive force for CSUN.

Looking past the loss, the Matadors have a home game on Friday, Nov. 24 against winless Mississippi Valley State. CSUN will look to regain their form against the Delta Devils, who are touring the West Coast as they stopped at Santa Clara on Monday, and finish their trip against Pacific on Sunday.

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