If eight is enough, then seven is short.
Only seven Matadors saw the floor, as the CSUN men’s basketball team fell to the Pepperdine Waves, 70-55.
The loss marks CSUN’s fourth consecutive loss, and highlighted a lack of experience, care and toughness.
“You give 47 second chance points and points off of turnovers, and that’s really the game,” said CSUN men’s basketball head coach Reggie Theus.
CSUN (2-6) came out of the gate slowly, falling behind 8-2 less than four minutes into the game.
Nevertheless, they found their footing as they went on a 9-3 run to nod the score at 11 at the 13-minute mark.
But with such a limited amount of players available, fatigue and the speed of the game began to take its toll on the Matadors, as they fell behind 28-20 because of an 8-0 Pepperdine run that lasted about a minute.
However, senior forward Tre Hale-Edmerson—whose five rebounds moved him into the top 10 in all-time rebounds at CSUN—felt that fatigue was not a factor, nor should it be one for his team.
“We have no excuse for being tired, we’re all young,” he said. “We have legs for days. These guys didn’t play 40 games last year, the year before, and the year before. They weren’t grinding for three years, two years. We should be ready to go.”
With that said, CSUN would display youthful energy, climbing back to tie the game at 32, only to surrender eight unanswered points to the Waves to close the half.
“We don’t do a lot of the little things,”Hale-Edmerson. “We do big things, but the little things is what’s going to move us over the top. And I feel like we don’t have the guys that see the value in doing the little things that will push us over the top.”
After committing 14 turnovers in the first half—which led to 16 Pepperdine points—the Matadors went into halftime trailing 32-40.
With momentum squarely with the Waves, CSUN came out sluggish in the second half, going scoreless for nearly the first five minutes of the half. By the time the Matadors did get on the board in the second half, they were down 15 points.
“It’s not that we’re not getting shots, it’s converting,” said Theus.
Ultimately, turnovers doomed the Matadors, as they finished the game with 22 turnovers.
“They didn’t force us to do anything, we forced ourselves,” said sophomore guard Micheal Warren. “We beat ourselves tonight, they didn’t beat us.
Granted, turnovers and the inability to convert close baskets hindered the Matadors, but it was their attitude and mentality that kept them for contending against the Waves.
“Coach said in the locker room that we got out-toughed,” said Hale-Edmerson. “They’re not that tough. We need to be tougher. We should be tougher.”
Hale-Edmerson and the Matadors will search for that toughness and snap their losing streak when they travel north for a pair of games against the University of San Francisco and Portland State, beginning on Monday, Dec. 7 in San Francisco.