Matador shooting woes give Eagles easy victory

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In what was its worst game of the young season, the CSUN men’s basketball team lost 70-48 to the Eastern Washington Eagles at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. on Dec. 4.

The Eagles held the Matadors to nearly 40 points below their average of nearly 87 points per game. Eastern Washington’s defense held the Matador offense to 28 percent shooting from the field for the game. CSUN made only 15 field goals on 52 attempts.

Junior guard Mike Efevberha, who entered the game as the nation’s third leading scorer at 26 points per game, scored eight points (2-10). It was the first time this season Efevberha did not score in double figures.

The Eagles jumped out to the early 12-2 lead and eventually built the lead to 15, with a 21-6 advantage. The Matador defense did nothing to slow down Eastern Washington, as they shot 63 percent from the field in the first half and led by as many as 18 points before halftime.

Not even the halftime break could help the Matadors, as the Eagles came out and extended their lead to 53-26. With seven minutes remaining, Eastern Wasington widened its advantage to 29, the biggest of the game.

As mentioned, the Matadors shot 28 percent, which was the worst shooting percentage by a Bobby Braswell-coached team in 272 games. Eastern Washington cooled down somewhat in the second half, as the Eagles finished the game shooting 53 percent from the field.

The Matadors were out rebounded 42-24, shot 64 percent from the free throw line and did not make one three-point shot the entire game.

The only bright spot for the Matadors was junior Terrell Jones, who led the Matadors in scoring with a career-high 18 points. In his second consecutive start, Jones was the only Matador to reach double figures in scoring.

Along with his game-high 25 points on 9-13 shooting, Eastern Washington’s Rodney Stuckey had four steals, four rebounds and three assists. Kellen Williams registered his first career double double, with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

With the loss, CSUN dropped it’s record to 4-2 and failed to become the school’s first ever NCAA Division I team to open a season at 5-1 record. With the victory, Eastern Washington improved their record to 3-3 on the year.

CSUN’s next game will be against Fresno State, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in Fresno.

Justin Satzman can be reached at justin.satzman@csun.edu.