Look, there’s a bird. No, it’s a plane. No, it’s senior forward Stephen Maxwell.
The super Maxwell flew in for another thunderous dunk as the forward carried CSUN to a 79-76 victory in an exhibition bout versus the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros, September 8.
Maxwell led all scorers with 27 points, shooting 7 for 12 from the field and 13 for 18 from the free throw line.
“I felt like I was a lot quicker and stronger than people who were guarding me,” Maxwell said. “So I took advantage of their weaknesses and that’s how I got to the line.”
However, the Toros’ three point shooting kept them close until the end of the game. They made 21 field goals and 11 of them were three pointers led by Darius Butler (9 points), Ivan Dooley (16 points) and Shaq Hunter (15 points) with three apiece.
“Anytime you make 11 threes, you have a chance and the (Toros) did that,” Theus said. “They got some offensive rebounds that turned into threes and some of the threes came after the shot clock was down past 15, which means that the defense was solid but just needed the second and third efforts.”
The Matadors raced to a 24-10 lead after a Stephan Hicks 3 pointer but could not retain the big advantage.
With a little over a minute left, the Matadors were up by four.
That lead quickly disappeared as Matadors’ guard Aaron Parks fouled Dooley shooting a three which led to 3 points.
Then the Matadors turned over the ball as the ball was stolen from Maxwell by Darnell Martin which led to an easy layup for Toros’ guard Jonathan Nichols.
The Toros gained the lead, 76-75, with under a minute left in regulation.
With just 43 seconds left, Tre Hale-Edmerson had the ball and found an open Landon Drew underneath the basket and made the layup for the lead as the Matadors did not look back.
Matadors’ senior forward Stephan Hicks scored 21 points with 6 rebounds and sophomore Aaron Parks scored 16 points with 10 of those points coming from the free throw line.
The Matadors open the regular season at No. 16 San Diego State on Friday as they compete in the EA Sports Maui Invitational Mainland Challenge. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“We played like it was our second game of the season,” Drew said. “Next game we’re going to focus on defense and buckling down. We know San Diego State is a very athletic team and we’re going to get after it hopefully getting a win.”
Brandon E. Martin, CSUN Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, issued a statement last Wednesday that couple players are going to have to sit due to potential violation of team rules and university policies.
However, the team could not comment as the investigation is still ongoing.