Live updates from Cal State Northridge (Northridge, California)
Are you ready? #1 Long Beach State vs. #2 Cal State Northridge. The two top teams in the Big West Conference take center stage tonight. Momentum is the theme tonight... the 49ers seek their fourth consecutive win, while the Matadors havewon six of their last eight games.
A win tonight would bring LBSU closer to the elusive regular season title that has skirted Coach Monson's squad each of the past two seasons (08-09, lost on a buzzer-beater at UCSB on the final game of the regular season... 09-10, failed to lock up the regular season title after being picked as the preseason #1 team).
LBSU holds a 29-20 advantage over CSUN in the all-time series and have won three consecutive games over the Matadors including an 85-71 decision earlier this year (1/5/11) at the Pyramid. Both teams shoot .458 from the floor, second-best in the league, so it should be an interesting match-up.
Lace 'em up folks... should be an entertaining one tonight.
Starting Five for Us...
Phelps, Plater, Anderson, Robinson and the Ghost with the Most... Casper
Starting Five for Them...
Daniel, McLemore, and then the sound went out in the arena.
Keys to the Game...
The 49ers need to match the intensity of the Matadors early. This is the biggest home game for CSUN this season and Coach Braswell will have his troops ready to roll in the all-important Big West match-up.
Let's keep the March towards March going! The stretch run continues...
Nice touch...orrr not really...This place is a concrete jungle... seats are half-empty for CSUN's biggest game of the season.... the mascot has the face of, well, you just need to see it. Still should be fun, but this rival's CS Fullerton's high school gym.
Perfect example: The public address system cut out during the announcement of the starting line-ups, delaying the start of the game and not allowing the Northridge starting five to be introduced.
15:40 left in the 1st Half... CSUN leads 6-5
Sloppy start to the game for both teams with some questionable calls by the officials. Casper Ware. Coach Monson pulled GP3 for not getting on the floor for a loose ball before putting him right back in. Casper is fighting a sickness, so he's been in and out of the lineup.
7:50 left in the 1st Half... LBSU leads 19-11
14-5 run for the 49ers... Greg Plater with some key baskets in the stretch... LBSU is turning up the intensity on the boards.
3:58 left in the 1st Half... LBSU leads 22-17
Ware picks up his second personal foul on a ticky tack call... the officials are calling EVERYTHING. Not much offense, but LBSU is holding its own on the boards, which is the difference right now
Halftime... LBSU leads 32-27
Two consecutive CSUN three-pointers tied the score at 27-27 with 1:10 remaining, prompting a 30-second TO by the 49ers, but Casper straightened out the scoring with a 3-pointer and dribble-drive at the buzzer to close out the half.
Plater - 11 points
Ware - 9 points (just 12 minutes)
Anderson - 7 points
15:25 left in the 2nd Half... LBSU leads 42-37
Casper Ware picks up his fourth foul on a questionable offensive foul in the lane, leading to a seat on the bench. 3 of Casper's four fouls have been questionable and the officials continue their first half trend of blowing the whistle when a gnat lands on any of the players.
11:56 left in the 2nd Half... LBSU leads 48-46
After LBSU gives up the lead for the first time since the early minutes of the game, Corey Jackson provides a spark off of the bench with the absence of Ware with two immediate 3-pointers for the 49ers on back-to-back possessions.
7:49 left in the 2nd Half... LBSU leads 55-53
Jackson's spark (9 points, 3-3 from beyond the arc) helps patch the loss of Ware. Rebounding battle is becoming more intense and it looks more like the game is going to be won/lost at the free throw line. Both teams are already in the bonus.
3:56 left in the 2nd Half... LBSU leads 68-61
The soon-to-be Big West Player of the Year returns... Ware re-enters the line-up with four fouls and immediately converts four free throws.... on two nice drives... good recognition of the foul situation for Northridge. He's an impact player...Big three-pointer by Plater from the corner and a Phelps slam to give the 49ers some breathing room. LBSU shows some life with a few hard fouls on Lenny Daniels down low.
FINAL SCORE: 49ers 79, Matadors 62 - Statement Win!!
24-8 run by LBSU over the last 7:49 to close it out... the bench was fired up!!
Free throws were the key down the stretch as LBSU iced the game at the charity stripe.
49ers are now 10-2 overall in Big West Conference play and retain an even stronger hold on first place... it's time to pack the Pyramid for the final four home games of the year, beginning next Wednesday night against UC Riverside..
Four home games left, fans, let's cut down those nets at home!!
Feb. 16 vs. UC Riverside - 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 19 vs. Montana (live on ESPN2) - 8:00 p.m.
*free t-shirts for the first 1,000 students
Feb. 24 vs. Cal Poly - 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 26 vs. UC Santa Barbara (live on ESPN2) - 5:00 p.m.
*WHITE OUT NIGHT, wear white to the game. The first 4,000 fans receive a free t-shirt