CSUN men’s basketball faces Gauchos in Big West action

Gilberto Manzano

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The one positive thing that Matador head coach Bobby Braswell took from their loss to Drake Saturday night was that it prepared them for their match against UC Santa Barbara tonight at the Thunderdome.

In a postgame interview, after their 90-80 loss to the Bulldogs, Braswell felt that Drake’s offense was similar to the Gauchos because they run a lot of screens for their shooters. Braswell also felt that Drake would have a lot of success if they were in the Big West.

Braswell is probably right since the Gauchos (16-8, 10-3 Big West) are currently first in the Big West standings. UCSB has been the hottest team in the conference and are currently in a five-game winning streak.

The Matadors are (10-17, 5-7 Big West) currently sitting in seventh place but are one game and a half out of third place.

Northridge is one of the few teams in the league that have had recent success against UCSB. CSUN defeated the Gauchos 76-69 at the Matadome (Jan. 30), which was the last time Santa Barbara lost. The Matadors have beaten UCSB in their last four meetings including a 72-70 victory at the Thunderdome last season.

The dynamic-duo of James Nunnally and Orlando Johnson has been one of the reasons why the Gauchos are having plenty of success in the conference. Sophomore guard Orlando Johnson is leading the Big West with 17.8 points per game. Sophomore forward Nunnally is not too far behind Johnson with 14.8 points per game.

The Last time CSUN faced UCSB they were able to win without their leading rebounder Lenny Daniel, who was suspended for one game due to attitude issues. In Daniel’s last outing he scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots.

Daniel’s has recorded 34 block shots on the season and is three shy of Tremaine Townsend’s single season record.