Men’s basketball: Matadors defeat Eagles in non-conference matchup

Gilberto Manzano

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After getting crushed by Cal Poly Wednesday night, the Cal State Northridge men’s basketball team bounced back to defeat Eastern Washington, 68-59, on Saturday night at Reese Court in a non-conference ESPN Bracketbuster game.

After the Eagles’ cut the Matadors 11-point second half advantage down to 52-50 with 8:54 left in regulation, CSUN (11-16, 7-6 Big West) took control of the game with a 11-2 run and never looked back as they went on to snap a two-game losing streak.

Matador Lenny Daniel recorded his 15th double-double of the season with a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. Rashaun McLemore and Michael Lizarraga had 15 and 11 points apiece.

Eastern Washington (8-18, 5-8 Big Sky) was led by Glen Dean with 17 points and Cliff Colimon chipped in 14 points.

The Matadors recorded their eighth victory over the Eagles, but still trail in the all-time series by two games. CSUN used to see Eastern Washington on a yearly basis as they were both Big Sky members from the 1996-97 season through 2000-01.

With a 37-37 tie in the second period, the Matadors went on a 13-2 run to take a 50-39 lead with 11 minutes left.

Colimon brought back the Eagles by scoring eight points during Eastern Washington’s 11-2 run.

CSUN went into halftime down 30-26 and got off to a slow start in the second half.

Daniel started the game by scoring CSUN’s first seven points.

Northridge shot 21-of-48 from the field for a 43.8 shooting percentage, a big improvement from its season-low 28 percent at Cal Poly.

The Matadors only took seven 3-point attempts and connected on three. The Eagles went 22-of-55 from the floor (40 percent) and shot 32 percent from 3-point range (8-of-25).   
After being out-hustled on the rebounds against the Mustangs where they allowed 17 offensive rebounds, CSUN won the battle of the boards. The Matadors out-rebounded the Eagles 39-31.

Northridge went to the charity stripe 33 times and converted on 23 free throws. Eastern Washington only went to the line 15 times and hit seven shots.

The Matadors returned home Thursday night to take on the defending Big West champions UCSB on Senior Night. CSUN will honor Dathan Lyles, Lenny Daniel, Rashaun McLemore, Raymond Cody and Michael Lizarraga.