The Matadors slow start ends in a blow out at UCLA

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The Matadors slow start ends in a blow out at UCLA

Gilberto Manzano

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Guard Vinnie McGhee struggles to keep the ball away from Bruin guard Malcolm Lee in the second half. The Matadors shot 29 percent from the field en route to a 83-50 loss at Pauley Pavilion. photo credit: Monique Muñiz / assistant sports editor

The Matadors final shot of their first regular season game in 2010-11 resulted in a jump shot from freshman Aqeel Quinn that didn’t graze the rim, drawing the Bruin student section to chant “airball, airball.”

Quinn’s airball jumper summed up the Matadors night against UCLA losing 83-50 Friday night at Pauley Pavilion in the season opener for both teams.

“We just didn’t come out ready to play,” said senior guard Rashaun McLemore, who led CSUN with 10 points. “Next time, we have to come out with more energy and play better defensively. It’s only the first game of the season; we just have to move forward from here.”

CSUN head coach Bobby Braswell was satisfied with the play of the eight freshmen competing in their first Division-I game but was upset with the returnees.

“I thought the young guys did some good things for us on the court. I’m really disappointed in our veteran play,” said Braswell, who fell to 7-8 in season openers.

CSUN biggest deficit in the game was 42 points and for most of the second half Braswell played the first-year players instead of the veterans. Braswell said it wasn’t a sign of throwing in the towel.

“I’m going to play guys who give us energy and (the freshmen) did it. It wasn’t me trying to make a point,” Braswell said. “I’m going to reward guys that play hard. The guys know I have an effort system. I thought our freshmen played hard.”

It was bad for CSUN from the get-go as the Bruins jumped out to a 15-0 lead. The Matadors didn’t record their first point until the 15:33 mark when Lenny Daniel made 1-of-2 free throws.

With 14:14 left in the first half Michael Lizarraga, who chipped in eight points, scored the Matadors first field goal of the game on a goaltending violation by Bruin Tyler Honeycutt.

The ugliest it got for the Matadors in the first half was a 28-point deficit after Joshua Smith’s free throws gave UCLA a 37-9 advantage with 6:21 left before the break.

Later the Bruins went on a 13-0 run that was snapped by Josh Greene’s three-pointer with 6:13 left in the first period. Greene’s bucket was assisted by Vinnie McGhee, CSUN’s first assist of the game.

Northridge struggled on offense all night only recording six assists and committing 27 turnovers. CSUN shot 29 percent from the field compared to the Bruins 56.9.

UCLA was led by Reeves Nelson with 17 points and Honeycutt with 16 points. Junior transfer Lazeric Jones chipped in 15 points.

CSUN was able to force UCLA into 22 turnovers giving them something positive heading into its second game of the season as they face another Pac-10 opponent on Tuesday night at Cal.


video credit Victor Corona
Redshirt junior guard Vinnie McGhee talks about what went wrong against UCLA and looks ahead to the matchup against CAL on Tuesday at Haas Pavilion.