Roman Martinez made five of seven three-pointers and scored 20 points and teammate Lobo Tony Danridge added 16 as New Mexico never trailed enroute to an 85-74 win over the Matadors Monday night at The Pit.
Forward Willie Galick led CSUN in scoring for the first time this season. He had 17 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Guard Deon Tresvant scored 16.
‘ The Matadors got behind big time thanks to Martinez’s hot hand and their own turnovers. They trailed 71-48 midway through the second half.
CSUN fought back, though, and after a Galick dunk and free throw, it found itself trailing by only 11 with 4:23 left.
However, Martinez didn’t let the momentum last. In the following possession, he buried his last three-pointer of the night to put New Mexico up 81-67 and virtually end the game.
‘ The Matadors couldn’t get closer than 11 the rest of the way.
CSUN shot 38 percent from the field. New Mexico made 46 percent of its attempts. Despite the loss, Northridge Assistant Coach Danny Sprinkle saw some positives.
‘We were composed,’ he said. ‘The guys really executed. We got what we wanted (offensively). We just missed some shots.’
Execution is something Head Coach Bobby Braswell has been adamant about. That and effort. Following a loss at Cal State Bakersfield Friday night, Braswell showed disappointment in his lines’ work ethic. He felt the Matadors hadn’t given the Roadrunners the respect every team deserves.
Another weak point this season has been turnovers. They lost that battle once again Monday.
Tresvant, Galick and point guard Josh Jenkins accounted for 12 of 15 first-half turnovers for the Matadors. Jenkins, who was averaging nearly nine turnovers per game coming into the night, had six. He dished out five assists.
The Matadors managed to keep it close through the first 10 minutes of play and were behind by just one after a Rob Haynes three-pointer made it 20-19 with 9:32 left in the half. However, the Lobos began a parade of free throws and treys to fuel a 24-5 run to expand their lead to 44-25 with just over a minute left before intermission.
CSUN got five quick points to cut into the deficit. New Mexico went into halftime leading 46-30.
Northridge woke up in the second half. Tresvant had back-to-back three-pointers and Townsend scored seven Matador points in a row. But the Lobos were also hitting their shots and it wasn’t helping the CSUN cause that they kept sending the home team to the line.
‘Some foul trouble hurt us early,’ said Sprinkle. ‘(But) for the most part the guys played hard.’
The Matadors face Rider Saturday in Lawrenceville, NJ.
‘We got to regroup quick,’ Sprinkle said.