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 corral the Mustangs and earn 15th win

Forward De’Sean Allen-Eikens, 25 (left), and forward Keonte Jones, 4 (right), get ready to box out Cal Poly SLO defender Kobe Sanders, 3 (center), during free throws on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif.

After a rough five-game losing streak in the middle of the season, CSUN (15-9, 6-6 Big West) has now strung together back-to-back home wins after defeating Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (4-20, 0-12 Big West) 78-65, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena on Thursday night.

CSUN head coach Andy Newman said the win was much needed for his team.

“It feels great, we’re playing good right now and offensively we’re starting to get back into our groove,” he said.

Four Matadors finished in double digits, including Dionte Bostick, who had a game-high 23 points on 9-12 shooting from the field.

“I felt back to normal. I was aggressive in attacking the basket. I feel better than I did these last few games,” Bostick said.

It took a while for the Matadors offense to wake up. In fact, CSUN only went into the half up by three, thanks to a Bryan Ndjonga 3-pointer before time expired to end the half.

The Mustangs were keeping things scrappy early on, but the Matadors kept forcing Cal Poly to take bad shots.

Three points is the closest Cal Poly would come to tying the game in the second half, as the Matadors walked away with the win.

Bostick stepped up big for the Matadors, and that’s something they’ve needed from him. He played almost the whole game, finishing at 39 of a possible 40 minutes played.

Tuukka Jaakkola led Cal Poly with 12 points in the game, with only one other Mustang finishing in double digits.

De’Sean Allen-Eikens followed up his 26-point performance against UC Riverside with an 18-point game versus the Mustangs.

For Allen-Eikens, it’s been a long and winding road that has led him to three different schools, but he has finally found comfort at Northridge. One of only four returnees from last year’s team, he is averaging a team-high of 18.1 points a game, which is good for 83rd in the country.

“Sometimes, all you need is a change of culture and people who care where you’re at,” Allen-Eikens said.

After the game, Newman revealed that his two big men, Jasman Sangha and Dearon Tucker, are nursing some injuries.

“Jasman’s dealing with some injuries right now… same with Dearon,” Newman noted.

That will be something to monitor going forward as the Matadors start to head down the stretch of the regular season.

Reaching 15 wins for the Matadors is yet another goal ticked off for this squad. With eight games left on the schedule, 20 wins also remains a very viable mission for the team.

Looking ahead for the Matadors, however, the road to March will not be an easy one. They will face five opponents who already beat them this season, including UC Irvine, UC Davis, and UC San Diego.

If the Matadors can get over the hump against the UC schools, they could roll into the Big West Tournament on a hot streak.

CSUN went on to defeat UC Santa Barbara 82-74 on Saturday night in the Thunderdome.

The Matadors will go on the road to take on CSU Bakersfield Feb. 15 in their next game.

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