CSUN men’s basketball in must win situation versus Cal Poly

Gilberto Manzano

Matador Kenny Daniels goes for the dunk against the Titans on Saturday night. Photo Credit: Ryan Hecksel

The Matadors (9-16, 4-7 Big West) had their hearts broken twice last week losing on a buzzer beater to Cal State Bakersfield (Feb. 10) and falling by one-point in triple overtime to Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 13).

Point guard Vinnie McGhee felt that losing to the Titans was a tougher game to get over.

“Fullerton was three overtimes and we played so bad to lose at the last second,” McGhee said. “All we needed to do was box out and get a stop and that hurts. These type of loses always stick with you for a minute but we try to use that as fuel for our next game.”

Tonight CSUN will try to bounce back against Cal Poly (9-15, 6-6 Big West) at the Matadome.

The Matadors are currently sitting in seventh place in the conference and are one game and a half ahead of last place UC Riverside. The team that finishes last at the end of the regular season misses the Big West Tournament. CSUN is now approaching their final five Big West games as a must wins, including tonight’s game against the Mustangs.

“Every game is a must win now and we know that winning the Big West regular season title is probably out of reach,” Lenny Daniel said. “You can win the regular season title and still miss the (NCAA) tournament. I hope we get a high seed in the Big West tournament, beat up on a couple of teams and make it back to the big dance.”

Cal Poly is coming into the Matadome with a double overtime victory over UC Riverside on Saturday. The Mustangs are currently sitting in sixth place in the conference and are averaging 75 points per game.

In a nail-biter CSUN lost 73-72 to Cal Poly in its last meeting at Mott Gym on Jan. 23. The Matadors had an opportunity to win the game in their last possession but missed two short shots as time expired. Tonight junior forward Daniel wants to avenge their loss by destroying the Mustangs.

“I want to beat them by 20 (points) because I feel like that’s one that slipped away. I want to make a statement by smashing (the Mustangs tonight).”