In a game that saw control of the game see-saw back and forth throughout the night, the CSUN Matador men’s basketball team wound up on the short end of the stick, as it lost its Bracket Buster matchup to the Cleveland State Vikings 85-76 at the Matadome Saturday night.
“We never got it going, and that (was) very frustrating,” Matador Head Coach Bobby Braswell said.
Neither team was really in control of the game, as the lead changed hands 16 times and the game was tied on 11 occasions. The game was tied at 68 with 3:55 remaining until the Vikings put the game away with a game-ending 15-8 run.
“We were flat all around, it was a horrible game,” Senior center Thomas Shewmake said.
Shewmake continued his torrid pace, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Junior forward Calvin Chitwood had a bounce-back game, scoring 15 points off the bench while senior forward Terrell Jones and junior forward Jayme Miller scored 10 points apiece. Joe Davis led Cleveland State with 17 points and J’Nathan Bullock and Raheem Moss scored 16 points apiece.
Cleveland State scored the first five points of the game, but the Matadors soon worked their way back into the contest and Chitwood nailed a three at 15:41 to give CSUN a 10-8 lead. From there, the first half was up for grabs, as there were seven lead changes and five ties. Then with the Vikings leading 29-27, sophomore guard Rob Haynes nailed consecutive three-pointers to give the Matadors a 33-29 lead. The Matadors went into halftime leading 35-34.
In the second half, the Matadors struggled to shake off the Vikings, though they held the lead for about the first 12 minutes. Davis then made a three at 8:12 to give Cleveland State a 59-58 lead, its first of the half. The Viking lead grew to three on another Davis score, but Junior guard Jonathan Heard converted a three-point play to tie the game at 61.
Cleveland State got the lead back on a pair of Moss free-throws. Junior guard Tre Peters nailed a 20-footer to tie the game, but Moss answered with a three with 5:37 left to give the Vikings a 66-63 lead.
Shewmake scored inside to cut the lead to one on CSUN’s next possession. Cleveland State failed to score on its next two possessions while the Matadors failed just once in between the two Viking possessions. Finally at 4:14, Shewmake nailed a left-side three-pointer to give CSUN a 68-66 lead.
However, it turned out to be the Matadors’ last lead of the night. Moss tied the game with two free-throws, then Patrick Tatham scored at 2:39 to give Cleveland State the lead. Another Tatham scored followed by two Moss free-throws capped off what proved to be a game-deciding 8-0 run that gave the Vikings a 74-68 lead with a minute and a half remaining.
Both teams seemed to almost match each other stat for stat. CSUN shot 41.8 percent from the field as opposed to Cleveland State’s 40.7 percent. The Matadors grabbed 42 rebounds, three less than the Vikings and both teams also struggled from the three-point line, as CSUN shot 5-17 (29.4 percent) from behind the arc while Cleveland State shot 7-22 (31.8 percent).
The Matadors conclude their brief break from conference play with a road game up at South Dakota State University on Tuesday night against the same Jackrabbit squad that CSUN defeated 72-61 at the Matadome back on Jan. 21. The Matadors will play its final home game of the 2006-2007 season on Saturday afternoon against the University of the Pacific Tigers at 2:05 p.m. Saturday’s game will also mark the final game at the Matadome for seniors Jones, Shewmake, Keith Everage and Austin Waggener. All four players will be honored prior to the game.