CSUN men’s basketball falls short against UC Riverside
The second half letdowns are starting to wear on CSUN head coach Bobby Braswell.
“Same old record, same old thing… one half of basketball and totally fell apart in the second half. We don’t have the instinct in us to finish” said Braswell after Northridge lost to UC Riverside, 70-61, Thursday night at the Matadome in Big West play.
Falling apart in the second half is nothing new for the Matadors (4-12, 1-3 Big West), but losing to UC Riverside (7-8, 2-1 Big West) is. CSUN had a 12-game winning streak over the Highlanders, a streak that started back in the 2004-05 season.
With a 26-22 halftime, it seemed as if CSUN was poised to extend its streak against UC Riverside. However, the Matadors came out the locker room sluggish and allowed the Highlanders to take a 12-point lead with 5:44 left in regulation.
CSUN responded with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 56-51 with 3:58 left.
Freshman Josh Greene, who scored 14 of his career-high 17 points in the second half, provided a spark for the Matadors off the bench by knocking down three 3-pointers in the final minutes of play.
After Dathan Lyles made two free throws to bring CSUN within three with 1:10 left, freshman Highlander Daymond Cowlah, who scored 14 points, hit a floating shot to put the score at 62-59.
On the next play Matador Lenny Daniel, who had 13 points and 14 rebounds, missed two free throws with 43 seconds remaining on the clock and UC Riverside went on to close the game and hand CSUN its sixth loss in the last seven games.
CSUN struggled at the free throw line going 15-of-25, which includes six misses by Daniel.
After holding UCR to 22 points in the first half, CSUN allowed the Highlander to score 48 points and shoot 66.7 percent from the field in the second period.
“We need to step up and show some guts. Everyone has to be hungry for stops,” Lyles said.
CSUN continues Big West play on Saturday against Cal State Fullerton at the Matadome.