The Cal State Northridge men’s basketball team (2-3) hit the floor against Coastal Carolina less than 24 hours after their nail-biting game against Western Kentucky. Northridge was all set up for a let-down against the Chanticleers.
With Willie Galick’s career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds, the Matadors finished their Preseason NIT play with a 76-69 victory over Coastal Carolina Tuesday at E.A. Diddle Arena.
With the game knotted up at 64-64 with 4:11 left in regulation, a Galick layup ignited a 9-2 run for the Matadors. Kenny Daniels, who finished with 13 points, made a few free throws down the stretch to close the game for Northridge.
The Matadors finished the first road trip of the season on a positive note and seemed to be getting better every game. Head coach Bobby Braswell has seven new faces playing for him, and after losing five crucial players from last year’s squad due to graduation, it’s expected that they might struggle in the first couple of games.
Some may forget that in their first road trip last season, CSUN went 0-6.
Galick said before his game against Western Kentucky that he felt that they’re slowly starting to play as a team and players are figuring out their roles.
Transfer players Lenny Daniel, Rashaun McLemore and Kevin Menner all excelled at the junior college level and came to Northridge with a lot of expectations. All three players have struggled in the first five games of the year by committing careless turnovers but are finding out what the Division I level consists of. Having a tough non-conference schedule could benefit the new guys down the road in Big West Conference play.
For the first time in the young season the Matadors didn’t get past 20 turnovers in a game by recording 15. The Chanticleers finished with 14.
The Matadors shot 50.9 percent from the field but were only able to convert on two three-point shots compared to the Chants’ seven.
The Matadors started the game with a 5-0 advantage and did not relinquish the lead until Chad Grey knocked down a three-point jumper with 11:37 left in the first half, giving Coastal Carolina the 17-14 lead. With 1:41 left in the first period the Chants gained the biggest lead of the game, going up 10 points. To end the half the Matadors went on a 6-0 run, cutting Coastal Carolina’s lead to 38-34.
CSUN outrebounded the Chants 41-33, and 13 of those were offensive rebounds. Coastal Carolina had more assists with 17, compared to Northridge’s nine.
Junior transfer Raymond Cody started for the Matadors and chipped in 10 points. Daniel came up short of a double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Next up for Northridge is their home-opener against Cal State Bakersfield Monday night at the Matadome.