Men’s basketball lose big to the Mustangs


SPECIAL TO THE Daily Sundial

Coming off their recent victory over the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara, the Matadors (2-4, 8-9) struggled to make shots as the Mustangs of Cal Poly (4-3, 6-12) ended CSUN’s three-game win streak in a lopsided 73-54 affair Saturday at Mott Gym.

Junior guard Mike Efevberha led the way for the Matadors, contributing 14 points off the bench, while sophomore Jonathan Heard added 12, as no other Matador scored in double figures.

The night belonged to Cal Poly forward Tyler Ginn, who scored a career-high 28 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the field, including a 6-11 performance from behind the arc. On the Mustangs’ first possession of the game, Ginn nailed a three-pointer to jump out to the early 3-0 lead. Matador sophomore forward Calvin Chitwood responded with a quick bucket of his own to bring CSUN to within one.

Sparked by five quick points from Ginn, the Mustangs rallied to a 10-2 advantage, commanding the early lead. The Matadors looked to answer the call, as Efevberha entered the game off the bench and buried a three-pointer to lift the Matadors to a point off the lead. With six minutes gone by, CSUN finally gained the lead. It would, however, last only a mere 20 seconds.

Cal Poly proved too tough a task for the Matadors, as the Mustangs’ consistent shooting inspired a 14-0 run, to which it would not relinquish. Going into halftime, the Mustangs led 38-25 and maintained at least an eight-point advantage the rest of the way.

The Mustang win gave the team its sixth victory of the season, which is already one more than the school achieved during the entire 2004-05 campaign. With the loss, CSUN dropped to sixth in the Big West Conference standings, five games off the pace.

The Matadors’ poor 38 percent shooting display more than contributed to the teams’ fourth conference loss, but CSUN was also out-rebounded by a total of 37-22. The 6-foot-10 center Thomas Shewmake recorded just four rebounds over the entire stretch of the game to lead the Matadors. The Mustangs’ Derek Stockalper recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing a season-high 12 boards.CSUN was also beaten in the assist department 15-8.

Efevberha’s 19.2 points per game currently ranks as the best in the Big West Conference, a full point above Fullerton’s Bobby Brown. Efevberha has seen quite a significant decline in his points per game total, as he managed to score 20 points or better in seven of CSUN’s first 11 games, including the unforgettable 39-point clinic in the close loss to CSU Fullerton on Jan. 7. Since that night, the Matadors’ leading scorer has recorded less than 20 points in five of the last six games. During that time CSUN’s record is just 3-3.

CSUN’s next challenge will be at home against Long Beach State (9-9, 4-3) on Feb. 2, a game that will be televised live on KVMD-TV. The Matadors suffered a tough loss to the 49ers 84-73 in the two teams last meeting on Jan. 15.

Perhaps the biggest game of the season, however, will be against Big West undefeated UC Irvine (12-8, 8-0) at the Matadome Feb. 4 at 4:05 p.m. The Matadors faced the Anteaters earlier this season, only to fall short 76-62, as UCI reeled off 52 points in the second half to seal the deal.

Matt Osias can be reached at