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 go down swinging in first round

Kansas City, Mo. – With a game plan based on invisible things – belief and effort – the Matadors ran out under the Sprint Center’s bright lights Thursday morning. All their NCAA Tournament first round match-up Memphis believed was the second round would be played Saturday.

The Tigers’ belief came true. They beat the Matadors 81-70. Their made-up minds of secure victory changed quickly into the game, though.

The Matadors got out to a fast start and held No. 3 Memphis in check throughout. With 10:11 left in the second half, Vincent Cordell gave CSUN a 62-56 lead and the Tigers a reason to call for time.

CSUN had the Tigers walking back to their huddle looking at each other as if asking “what’s going on?”

After a quiet four-point first half, Rodrigue Mels finally turned into “Tournament guy” – the nickname the Matadors have for him due to his play rising up when it’s tournament time. Mels scored 15 points. Mark Hill was also tourney-good, scoring 14 points and giving CSUN its first lead of the second half, 44-43, with a 3-pointer.

The Matadors had been down by five moments earlier.

The Tigers unveiled their claws in crunch time. Antonio Anderson gave Memphis the lead for good with a jumper seven minutes from the end. CSUN was still within 72-68 with 2:30 to go, but Roburt Sallie got out of control and buried his ninth and tenth 3-pointers of the game to push the Tigers ahead by double-figures.

Tremaine Townsend was in-and-out of the game dealing four trouble. The forward, who scored 14 points, picked up his fourth foul11:18 to go.

Surprising even the most enthusiast of fans, the Matadors got out to a quick 9-2 lead. Memphis responded eventually and tied the game at 11-11 on the first of a string of Roburt Sallie 3-pointers.

The Tigers led 23-17 by the 9:17 half mark. CSUN didn’t fold. Kenny Daniels responded with a three-pointer at first, and then with a steal and dunk that strengthened the Matadors belief that it could be them upsetting a No. 2 seed for the first time since 2002. At halftime, CSUN had a morale win despite trailing 34-31.

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