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CSUN NOTEBOOK: CSUN FORWARD BACK IN ACTION.

Byline: Marc J. Spears Daily News Staff Writer

Brian Hagens' long-awaited return to the hardwood arrives next week.

Cal State Northridge's junior forward is expected to become eligible to play this week, making his debut at Ohio State on Monday. The last time the 6-foot-7, 225-pounder played in an official game was during the 1995-96 season at Porterville College when he averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds.

After his successful stint at Porterville, Hagens accepted a basketball scholarship to the University of New Orleans. But during his redshirt season (1996-97), he transferred to CSUN during the spring semester of 1997 after having arthroscopic right knee surgery and feeling homesick.

``I'm so eager to play and it is a feeling I can't really describe,'' said Hagens, a 21-year-old Long Beach Poly High graduate. ``I have been just wanting to play so badly.''

The versatile Hagens will add depth, height and strength to CSUN's frontcourt and is also a 3-point threat and a decent ballhandler.

The Matadors (2-3) are taking the week off for final exams. They have a two-game road trip next week, facing Ohio State on Monday and Ohio in its home opener on Dec. 17.

The break is great timing for CSUN because senior guards Derrick Higgins and Lucky Grundy are nursing injuries. Higgins has a lower back strain and a possible right foot stress fracture while Grundy has a bruised buttocks.

Shooting star: In just six games this season, freshman Edniesha Curry has 20 3-pointers for the women's basketball team. The Palmdale High grad is now three 3s shy of tying for 10th on Northridge's season list just six games into their season. The 5-5 guard ranks first in the Big Sky in scoring (18.3), steals (3.7) and 3-pointers (3.3) per game.

The Matadors (2-4) are coming off a 69-66 victory over Long Beach State last Sunday and host Pepperdine (6-1) on Saturday night.

Golf may be scratched: While the future of Northridge's men's baseball, volleyball, swimming and soccer programs are in question, the men's golf program has been away from the spotlight.

In the Big Sky Conference, men's golf is offered as a championship sport (not a core sport) and only five of the nine schools are participating. By the fall of 1999, CSUN must add men's tennis, which could cause the school to drop men's golf to prevent a gender equity problem. Also, Big Sky commissioner Doug Fullerton said on Tuesday that if two Big Sky schools dropped men's golf it could disappear as a championship sport.

``I'm still concerned because I don't have any clarity,'' said CSUN men's golf coach Jim Bracken, whose team will begin competing again in the spring. ``Even if (CSUN president) Blenda Wilson keeps the other sports, I still don't know our situation. We're basically in the same situation as baseball and the other sports.''

Flowers' legacy: When the NCAA Division I-AA football statistics crew completes updating its records by the beginning of 1998, quarterback Aaron Flowers is expected to be listed in the top 20 in many offensive categories.

Flowers, who became CSUN's all-time leading passer in just two seasons, is also expected to hold the record for career completions per game (25.1). The previous record was held by Iona's Tim Prodian (1993-95), who averaged 24.3 per game.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 10, 1997
Words:555
Previous Article:TOP 25 ROUNDUP: NORTHERN IOWA STUNS IOWA.
Next Article:USC REPORT ON HOLD.



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