Game time, Matadors vs. Memphis, live from the Sprint Center

Alonso Tacanga

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This is the live-game-updates post for the Matadors vs.  Memphis:

Second half

00:00: CSUN emptied the bench. Their starters (minus Willie Galick) got a well-deserved hand. The Matadors have no reason to hang their heads.

00:32: The game is over. The Matadors now trail 81-70 and have called their last timeout.

1:02: Following a 22-6 run, the Tigers now lead by 10 as CSUN takes a timeout. Now the Matadors really need a miracle to pull this one off.

2:24: Daniel made a circus layup to cut the Memphis lead to 72-68 , but Sallie made another freaking three to push his team’s lead to 75-68. Here’s another Sallie three for the first double-digit lead of the game: 78-68.

3:48: Just in time, CSUN breaks its dry spell with a fastbreak layup from Rodrigue Mels. It looked like Memphis was in total control. CSUN is still down 70-66.

4:47: The Matadors haven’t been able to make a shot for a while.

6:02: The lead is back with the Tigers after four consecutive points. Braswell called for time as his team trails 77-64. The body language of the Matadors is changing. Can they come back again?

7:45: The Matadors need a timeout as they lead 64-63. How did Memphis not lose more than three games all season? They’re talented and big, but not that amazing.

8:33: Was that Mark Hill with the spinning reverse layup? That was unbelievable.

10:02: Vincent Cordell gave the Matadors their biggest lead of the seocnd half, 62-56, sending the team into celebration and the fans into basketball heaven. Someone in the stands yelled, “don’t bust my bracket up.”

10:55: The Matadors lead 57-56 … Mels makes another three. It’s now 60-56 CSUN.

12:25: Dozier tied the game, then Townsend gave CSUN a lead again. Now Sallie has Memphis back up with an old school three-point play. And Mark Hill … another three? wow. CSUN up 52-50. Sallie responds .. Memphis up 53-52 … MELS ANSWERS! CSUN UP 55-53 … Sheesh, now Tyreke Evans scores and gets fouled.

From all that we get a 55-55 tie score and Evans heading to the line after a timeout.

13:20: Mark Hill finds Willie Galick alone under the Memphis basket for a layup and CSUN leads 46-43. Calipari calls time again. Memphis walks off the court as if not knowing what’s going on. No. 2 is losing to No. 15.

13:52: Mark Hill drops in a long 3-pointer and CSUN regains the lead at 44-43. Matadors fans can’t stay on their seats. They’re jumping up and down, onto the media court and back into the stands. Tremaine Townsend is ecstatic.

14:26: Sallie makes his sixth 3-pointer of the night for Memphis. The Tigers lead 43-41.

15:17: Tyreke Evans shoots an airball and the CSUN fans let him hear it. Mels finally hits a shot and CSUN’s tied it at 40-40.

15:36: Galick with another huge dunk. This one was a putback. CSUN is still within a possession, trailing 40-37.

16:12: Mels is in the game now. Memphis is shooting itself on the foot with missed free throws.

17:30: Willie Galick with the huge dunk. Kenny Daniels dropped Tyreke Evans with a shake, but couldn’t make the shot. CSUN has the momentum, but trails 36-36.

19:31: Memphis starts the second half with a steal and an easy layup much to Bobby Braswell’s dismay.

First half

00:00: The Matadors are winning the morale battle at halftime. They’re down in the scoreboard, but by just three points (34-31). Townsend is the high-point man with nine. He’s also got seven rebounds. Half of Memphis’ points were scored by Roburt Sallie, who at a point was 5-of-5 in three-pointers. Both teams are shooting under 40 percent and, for once, the Matadors’ opponents are doing worse than them in free throws. Memphis has missed five of 12 foul shots. CSUN’s 11-of-14 at the line.

Just the way they have throughout their season, the Matadors have surprised many in this first half. They got out to a quick 9-2 lead before the TIgers roared back and took a 23-17 lead. CSUN didn’t fold, stayed close and trail by a single possession at halftime.

Fifteen minutes till the start of the second half.

00:25: Townsend blocked Dozier at one end, but shot an airball at the other end after losing track of the shot clock. Townsend went for another block on Dozier and got a foul this time, his first.

2:47: Rodrigue Mels stat-line: two points, one assist, one turnover. CSUN down 33-29. Hang on, two more points. CSUN down 33-31. All of Mels’ points have come from the free-throw line.

3:12: Matadors still hanging tough, trailing 32-27. They just need to get a rebound. In the last Memphis possession, the Tigers misfired twice but rebounded the ball back.

4:37: Sallie missed another one. Still, he has 17 points. Matadors fans are teasing 6-foot-8, 300-pound center Pierre  Henderson-Niles, who made two free throws to push the Memphis lead to 31-25.

5:12: Sallie finally missed one.

7:28: Roburt Sallie of Memphis is a perfect 5-of-5 from the three-point land. His last three pushed the Tigers lead to 29-22 before Daniels cut it to 29-24 with a layup.

7:59: Kenny Daniels just had his moment. He stole a pass and took off alone for a high-flying dunk that cut the Memphis lead to 26-22. Following the two points, there was a timeout. Daniels stood in front of the Matador crowd and yelled nothing in particular at them as if saying “We’re not losing tonight.”

It’s a little early, but it got the crowd going.

9:00: Memphis got out to its biggest lead of the night (23-17) but the Matadors cut it to 23-20 with a three from Kenny Daniels. Now it’s raining three-pointers. Memphis just made another one to make it 26-20. Mels is back in the game for CSUN.

10:15: Memphis not looking sharp. Mels is scoreless for CSUN so far and the Matadors still trail 18-17.

11:48: The Matadors with the 17-16 lead but Shawn Taggart is headed to the free throw line for two shots. Willie Galick beat a Tiger to a rebound off a missed Kenny Daniels free throw and laid it in. Memphis coach John Calipari almost exploded at the play. He immediately sent a replacement in for the beat man.

12:56: Tyreke Evans just got his second foul of the game and the Matadors regained the lead (15-13). Evans is on the bench now.

13:42: Memphis got a lead following a jumper from Tyreke Evans, who shot it right over Mark Hill, but the Matadors tied it on two Rodrigue Mels free throws (13-13).

15:29: First timeout. The Matadors came out surprisingly sharp and had the Tigers on their heels for a while there. Memphis has now drawn within 11-8, but CSUN’s definitely showing it’s not come to the tournament just for shows.

16:55: Rodrigue Mels just entered the game. CSUN up 11-4.

17:58: CSUN up 7-2. Mark Hill made a three and Townsend followed with a layup. Now Willie Galick gets fouled and will shoot two free throws. He made both. CSUN up 9-2.

19:45: CSUN takes the lead on a tip-in from Tremaine Townsend. 2-0 CSUN.