The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN loses one, win one heading to Anaheim

In their last game before the Big West Tournament, the Cal State Northridge men’s basketball team blew an 18-point lead and lost in overtime to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 82-76 at the Matadome March 4.

CSUN was led by junior Mike Efevberha’s 19 points on 7-18 shooting while UCSB was led by Chris Devine’s 25 points on 6-14 shooting.

The first half started very sloppy, with neither team able to score for a minute and a half. With 18:36 remaining in the first half, Devine scored off a layup, putting UCSB ahead 2-0.

Sophomore Calvin Chitwood finally got the Matadors on the board with a layup with more than two minutes gone by to tie the game at two.

It took both teams 10 minutes to score ten points. With the Gauchos leading 11-10, the Matadors finally got their offense going.

Efevberha nailed a three to give CSUN its first lead at 13-11 and propelled the Matadors on an 8-0 run, giving CSUN an 18-11 lead, capped by senior Bakari Altheimer’s three.

CSUN extended its lead to nine with five minutes remaining and took a 35-27 lead into the half.

The Matadors were led by Altheimer’s 12 points, all of which were three’s. Altheimer, who is CSUN’s only senior, was honored before the game and was given the start by head coach Bobby Braswell.

“I honesty was extremely touched by the reception that they (basketball team) gave me,” Altheimer said. “It’s bitter because of the loss but I will never forget that feeling.”

CSUN shot 54 percent from the field in the first half, including 66 percent from beyond the arc. The Matadors held the Gauchos to 34 percent from the field, including 10 percent from three point-land.

CSUN began the second half by going on an 8-0 run and extending its lead to 43-27 on two Chitwood free throws.

Two minutes later, the Matadors extended their lead to 18 off an Efevberha jumper with 14:25 remaining.

For the next six minutes, both teams alternated baskets. With three minutes remaining, the Gauchos cut the lead to 13 off a Joe See three-pointer.

At the nine minute mark, UCSB cut the lead to 10 off another See three-pointer.

After being held scoreless for more than two minutes, the Matadors pushed their lead to 13 off three free throws from junior Terrell Jones.

UCSB, however, cut the lead down to seven off a Michael Chambers three with four minutes remaining.

Two minutes later, See hit another three to cut the lead to three.

Devine then made a layup to tie the game at 64 with 11 seconds left. Braswell called timeout and drew up a play for Efevberha.

Efevberha however, traveled on his way to the basket and gave the ball back to UCSB.

The Matador defense forced a tough shot by See that came up sort and forced overtime. It would be the second overtime game for the Matadors who won their previous one in their opening game at USC.

This time, however, overtime was all UCSB as it took its first lead since the 9:32 mark of the first half 17 seconds into overtime off a monster dunk by Cameron Goettsche.

The Gauchos extended their lead to seven off Goettsche free throws with 17 seconds remaining and propelled them to the win.

Along with Efevberha 19 points, Chitwood scored 16 while Heard helped with 14 and Altheimer, in his last home game, scored 15.

In the first game of their two-game home stand, the Matadors held on to beat the Cal Poly Mustangs 82-77 at the Matadome March 2.

Efevberha led the Matadors with 20 points on 5-12 shooting in 25 minutes while Trae Clark led the Mustangs with 20 points on 6-9 shooting in his 28 minutes of play.

The first half started with a quick three from Tyler McGinn 40 seconds into the game, giving the Mustangs a 3-0 lead. It took the Matadors two minutes before they scored off a Chitwood dunk.

One minute later, CSUN took its first lead off a three-pointer from Heard, giving the Matadors a 7-4 lead.

With six minutes gone by in the second half, the Matadors pushed their lead to seven off a monstrous dunk by Efevberha off a great pass from junior Thomas Shewmake.

For the next 12 minutes, the Matadors and the Mustangs exchanged baskets until a little the four minute mark when freshman Jason Hill made a layup to extend CSUN’s lead to double digits for the first time of the game. With 2:40 remaining, the Matadors extended their lead to 12 off an Efevberha three-pointer.

The first half ended with a 33-22 Matador lead. CSUN shot 37 percent from the field, but held Cal Poly to only 31 percent shooting from the field. The Matadors outscored the Mustangs by six from the free-throw line and seven off of fast break points.

Two and a half minutes into the second half, the Mustangs cut the Matador lead to four off a McGinn three-pointer which led to a CSUN timeout.

With 15 minutes remaining in the second half, Cal Poly cut the Matador lead down to three, but Braswell decided not to call a timeout and let his team play through the Mustang run.

From that point, the intensity began to pick up. The defense for both teams tightened up as no points were scored for over a minute. Freshman Austen Powers and Gabe Stephenson got into a verbal confrontation that resulted in technical fouls for both players.

Efevberha ended the scoring drought with a jumper at the 14:18 mark to extend the Matador lead to 42-37. Efevberha then hit a shot from beyond the arc to extend the lead to 7 with 13 minutes to play.

Cal Poly, however, cut the lead back to three with seven minutes remaining off a Chaz Thomas’ three.

Braswell showed confidence in his team by again not calling timeout and watched his team push the lead back to eight off a Chitwood dunk with four minutes left.

Cal Poly hit five three’s with under 30 seconds to play, but CSUN made 10 straight free throws in the last 30 seconds to preserve the win.

Both teams shot well in the second half, CSUN shot 52 percent, including 89 percent from the free throw line. In fact, CSUN outscored Cal Poly 31-7 from the free throw line for the game.

Cal Poly shot 52 percent from the field in the second half, including 55 percent from beyond the arc.

The Matadors had three players in double figures. Efevberha had 20, Chitwood contributed with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Heard added 14 points and eight rebounds.

With the loss to UCSB, the Matadors fell into the seventh seed in the Big West Tournament and will take on Cal State Fullerton in the first round March 8 at 8:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“They (Fullerton) beat us twice this year but it doesn’t matter,” Braswell said. “We have to approach this as a whole new season.”

Efevberha, Chitwood and Heard were named to the Honorable Mention Team of the Big West, along with Dedrick Banks from UC Riverside and Ross Schraeder of UC Irvine.

Justin Satzman can be reached at

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