Men’s basketball off to a rocky start in Big West competition

Gilberto Manzano

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Kenny Daniels, left, and the Matadors hope to snap a six-game losing streak when they face UC Irvine at the Matadome on Thursday night. Photo Credit: Jonathan Pobre / Executive Editor

Kenny Daniels, left, and the Matadors hope to snap a six-game losing streak when they face UC Irvine at the Matadome on Thursday night. Photo Credit: Jonathan Pobre / Executive Editor

The Cal State Northridge men’s basketball team, losers of six straight, picked the wrong time to go on a slump.

The Matadors’ (4-9) quest for another Big West title took a major blow after losing Monday night at UC Davis (6-8, 2-0 Big West), 85-73. The defending Big West champs are now 0-2 and have many problems to address.

One of their issues is getting scoring production from seniors Kenny Daniels and Willie Galick.

After Daniels erupted for a career-high 39 points against Idaho on Dec. 3, the Matadors’ last win, he hasn’t led CSUN in scoring. Daniels has only averaged 12 points in the last six contests.

Galick isn’t the scorer that Daniels is capable of being, but he is a major part of CSUN’s offense. Coming into the season, the 6-foot-8 Galick was supposed to be the Matadors’ inside presence. As of late, that role has gone to Lenny Daniel, who recorded 21 points and 12 rebounds against the Aggies. In the first two Big West games of the year, Galick only has six points with four rebounds.

As of late, Daniels and Galick aren’t the only ones struggling on the offensive side–the whole team can’t seem to buy a basket. Prior to their match against UC Davis, CSUN was held to 43 points against Pacific (Jan. 2) and 58 points versus the University of Colorado (Dec. 22).

In the six-game skids, CSUN is averaging 65 points per game, while the defense hasn’t been up to par either, giving up 80 points per contest.

If the Matadors don’t get it together soon they are at risk to falling 0-3 in Big West play, with a dangerous UC Irvine team going into the Matadome Thursday night.

The Anteaters (7-7, 1-1 Big West) are led by Preseason All-Big West First Team player Eric Wise. The sophomore is averaging 16.5 points per game and has been named Big West player for two consecutive weeks.

UCI leads the all-time series over the Matadors, 22-20.