These are two ticked off teams.
Both had leads in the finals seconds. Both had three-point plays put them down. Both lost games they should have had.
So tonight when Matadors and Lobos go at each other in New Mexico, every possession will be an angry battle. At least that’s what CSUN Head Coach Bobby Braswell will hope for. That’s all he can do at this point.
‘We don’t have a seriousness and maturity about us right now,’ he said following his team’s 67-65 loss at Cal State Bakersfield Friday.
The Matadors had an 11-point first-half lead and let it get away behind uninspired play. Braswell, who felt his team had made a huge improvement after a 103-85 loss at Stanford, feels his team has bought into all the ‘we’re No. 1’ hype a bit too much and isn’t giving a ‘consistent effort’ whenever it plays with teams it believes it should walk all over.
New Mexico on his part had a nine-point lead vanish in the last two minutes of a Saturday 72-71 home loss to Central Florida. Their coach, Steve Alford ‘- like Braswell ‘- was ‘not very pleased.’
These are two ticked off coaches.
Date: Tonight Tip-off: 6 p.m. Place: The Pit, Albuquerque, N.M. Series: Lobos lead 3-0 Last Meeting: Matadors 73 @ New Mexico 86 (1994) Interesting Fact: PG Josh Jenkins will be making a return to his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M.
Matador to watch: Josh Jenkins, point guard, senior Jenkins has faced the Lobos once before, in 2004-05, as a freshman member of the New Mexico State team. Then, his Aggies fell 99-80. This time around it’s not a rivalry and he’s not a first-year player. It’s a statement game and he’s the leader of an early-season underachiever. Jenkins’ heart is not in question, but his care for the basketball is. The point guard is averaging 8.7 turnovers per game. No better place to start mending ways than at ‘home’ right?
Lobo to watch: Tony Danridge, guard/forward, senior Danridge sat out all of 2007-08 because he broke his leg, but he’s fully healed now. He can play the two, the three and the four and is leading the Lobos in scoring at 14 ppg. After his New Mexico’s latest loss, he said he hadn’t been doing his job as a team leader. Obviously, the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder wants to change that. A win against the Matadors it’s the way to start.
What did he say? Bobby Braswell, CSUN Head Coach on what Friday’s game at Cal State Bakersfield can do for his team: ‘Sometimes, a loss like (the one against CSUB) can be good. If we would have walked out of (Bakersfield) with a win, we probably would have gotten worse instead of getting better. So hopefully we’ll take this and learn something from it.’