The Cal State Northridge men’s basketball team started its regular season beating Portland State 90-65 and Lehigh 74-68 but fell to Oregon 84-73 at the Portland State Basketball Travelers Classic in Eugene, Ore. Nov. 10-12.
Against Lehigh, sophomore Jason Hill scored a team-high 13 points on 4-9 shooting and Rob Haynes added 12 points as CSUN held on 74-68.
Haynes hit a three-pointer to give CSUN an early 9-6 lead. But Lehigh answered with a 10-2 run to open up a five-point lead at 16-11 with nine minutes gone by. A jumper by senior Thomas Shewmake gave the Matadors the lead back at 17-16 and propelled them to go on a 11-4 run capped by a junior Jordan Noblitt three for a 28-20 lead. Lehigh, however, closed the half on a 7-1 run in the last four minutes to cut the CSUN lead to 33-31 at the half.
CSUN opened the second half with a 12-1 run, giving the Matadors a 45-32 lead with four minutes gone by in the second half. A Lehigh three cut the lead to 10 and led to a 10-2 Lehigh run cutting the Northridge lead down to five at 47-42.
The game stayed close as CSUN did not build its lead to more than five until a pair of senior Terrell Jones free throws gave CSUN a seven-point lead with three minutes left. Lehigh cut the lead down to three before Hill converted a three-point play and a three-point basket giving the Matadors a nine-point lead and the win.
Against Oregon, Shewmake had a team-high 15 points on 5-13 shooting in 24 minutes as well as eight rebounds, but CSUN could not overcome a 14-point halftime hole as the Matadors lost 84-73.With the game tied at two, Oregon went on a 9-0 run to take the lead for good at 11-2 with seven minutes gone by in the seven minutes in the half. The Ducks’ lead grew too as many as 13 after Joevan Catron converted one of two free throws with 6:30 remaining in the half.
The Matadors fought back by going on a 8-0 run of their own, highlighted by two Noblitt threes to cut the lead to five at 28-23 with five minutes remaining in the first half.
CSUN, however, could not finish the half strong as Oregon took advantage of five turnovers and three missed free throws over the final five minutes and take a 43-29 halftime lead.
Oregon scored the first four points to take an 18-point lead at 47-29 and remained with a double-digit lead throughout the second half. After falling behind by 22 with less than five minutes left, CSUN put together a 10-0 run to close within 12 at 78-66 with a little over two minutes left. But a Porter jumper along with free throws put the game away for the Ducks.
Against Portland State, senior Terrell Jones scored a career-high 22 points on 8-10 shooting and had a game-high seven rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Junior Jonathan Heard added 18 points on 7-12 shooting in 22 minutes while junior Calvin Chitwood chipped in with 15 points on 7-9 shooting in 26 minutes.
CSUN took the lead before the game officially began as Noblitt hit a pair of free throws after a pre-game technical foul on the Vikings. When the game officially began, the Matadors jumped out to a nine-point lead at 13-4 after Chitwood made a lay-up with four minutes gone by in the first half.
CSUN’s lead grew to 16 at 38-22 after a Heard lay-up with three minutes remaining. However, Portland State’s Sean Smith hit a three that cut the CSUN lead to 38-25. The Matadors, however, went on a 6-0 run to end the half with a 44-25 halftime lead.
The Matadors shot an impressive 59 percent from the field in the first half, while holding the Vikings to an abysmal 33 percent. The only way Portland State could score was getting to the free-throw line. The Vikings made 11 of 22 in the first half.
The Matadors continued to play well as the second half begun. CSUN increased its lead to 54-25 off a Chitwood three, a Heard dunk and a Jones lay-up. The Matadors enjoyed their biggest lead of the game of 35 points four times in the second frame and were never threatened the rest of the way.
The Matadors shot 55 percent in the second half and 57 percent for the entire game. The defense held the Vikings to 35 percent from the field, including 21 percent from beyond the arc and 51 percent from the line.
CSUN returns to the Matadome to open the home portion of the 2006-07 season tomorrow against the University of Redlands at 7:05 p.m.